An Irish Blind Date, Peter Coonan from Love/Hate in a political drama, a new Irish soap, UFC rights AND a male presenter for Xpose - safe to say, TV3 have certainly plenty to give RTE and UTV Ireland a run for their money. Their Autumn schedule launch took place in the Mansion House in Dublin today with all the well-known heads from the channel in attendance, as well as a few more famous faces that will be part of this Autumn lineup. A tonne of new shows are on their way, the highlights of which, we have below.
First up, an Irish Blind Date, and it's Lucy Kennedy who will be stepping in as our answer to Cilla Black, she ensured entertainment.ie though that she would be putting her own stamp on the programme; "There will be a lot of similarities obviously but then there will be some changes because it's the IRISH Blind Date. I have been screaming with excitement since Monday, as I only found out then."
Lucy also told us that it will be open to everyone from 18 to 88, going on to say; "Sometimes, in Ireland, it can be quite hard to meet someone, and when you get to a certain age you run out of places to go - there's only so many weddings you can go to - so come to me, and I'll sort you out". She added; "I'm hoping for a few weddings, I'm not going to lie to you, I have my eye on a new hat!'
Other exciting new programmes on the lineup include new political drama The Guarantee, about the night of the most significant political decision in modern Irish history when the Irish government decided to guarantee the entire domestic banking system, with Gary Lydon as Brian Cowen and Peter Coonan as David Drumm.
In other drama news, IFTA winning Gerard Barrett who brought us the critically acclaimed Pilgrim Hill as well as newly released Glassland, has written and directed a new series for TV3 called Smalltown. It tells the story of two Irish youngsters who head off to London to start again with "their tomorrow unwritten and their future unknown, the daily battleground of London life threatens to swallow them whole and spit them back to Ireland with their tails between their legs," according to a statement from TV3.
In soap news, Red Rock, set in a fictional harbour town, will be the first new Irish soap in a decade, and some of its cast were there today including this lot.
Irish Gogglebox is also on its way to TV3, with the hugley successful format of watching Irish people, watching telly - trust us, it works. Even if is a tad meta.
TV3 have also just announced a brand new Xpose presenter, and it's a MAN. A Cork man at that. Remember that dude that was part of that whole Beyonce/ TMZ debacle a while back? Peter O' Riordan was the fella in question but is now returning home to Irish shores to join the ladies of Xpose. We chatted to him exclusively after the announcement, and honestly, he's a sound man, full of the Cork-schtyle banter.
Ray Foley will be back presenting a new quiz show called The Algorithm, which is something about man versus computer, we're still not exactly sure. While Jason Byrne will be acting the maggot in his new series called Jason Byrne's Snaptastic Show where he will be inviting celebrity guests to share some of their old photos and explain exactly what was going on with that hairstyle/shirt/space hopper.
For the sports head out there, you'll be happy to know that TV3 has secured the rights to Champions League, the Rugby World Cup and even the UFC fights.