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Monday 21 August 2017

No Grainne as Kathryn and girls launch RTE's new season

From left, Angela Scanlon of Reality Bites/Oi Ginger, Love/Hate's Aoibhinn McGinnity, Ryan Tubridy, Emma O'Driscoll of RTE Junior, Kathryn Thomas of The Voice/Operation Transformation and Maia Dunphy of What Women Want. Photo: Collins/Colin Keegan
From left, Angela Scanlon of Reality Bites/Oi Ginger, Love/Hate's Aoibhinn McGinnity, Ryan Tubridy, Emma O'Driscoll of RTE Junior, Kathryn Thomas of The Voice/Operation Transformation and Maia Dunphy of What Women Want. Photo: Collins/Colin Keegan

RTE's golden girl Kathryn Thomas has clearly overtaken Galway girl Grainne Seoige when it comes to prime-time programming.

In 2011, both Grainne (39) and Kathryn (34) were the two most in-demand female presenters within the station.

And with good reason – they're both talented hosts and had put in the spadework.

But while Kathryn has worked her way up the presenting ladder, Grainne seems to be lagging behind.

Kathryn started out her career on young people's magazine show Rapid, followed by travel programme No Frontiers, before moving to Winning Streak.

She took over from late and legendary broadcaster Gerry Ryan on Operation Transformation in 2011 and bagged the biggest presenting gig going in the country – The Voice of Ireland.

Tastes

Grainne has worked on some of the most popular day-time and prime-time shows on TG4, Sky, RTE and ITV.

But in the past months, she has been missing from our screens.

This year she has two gigs – Crimecall and presenting the People of the Year awards.

The change in the presenting slate is not a reflection of Grainne's presenting prowess, but the fickle nature of the industry itself.

Put simply - it's a tough slog for RTE's female presenters.

The capricious nature of the industry is something Kathryn is well aware of.

"It's extremely fickle," she told The Herald.

"It's the nature of the beast.

"People's tastes change – both audience wise and within RTE. It's tough but that is part of it."

"You're only as good as your next show, so you have to treat every gig with 100pc – because there is always so much to play for.

"You're constantly proving yourself," she added.

But the unpredictability wasn't a deterrent for the hungry and talented female presenters at yesterday's autumn launch.

Vogue McFadden and Angela Scanlon will present once-off documentaries as part of the Reality Bites series. Vogue will visit Summer Bay while Angela will look at the hardship of being a redhead in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Maia Dunphy will host four-part series What Women Want; Mairead Farrell will put families through their paces on Ireland's Fittest Family; and Jennifer Maguire is back with The Fear.

And Corkonian Sinead Kennedy is set to replace Geri Maye on Winning Streak.

This year's autumn schedule has put the emphasis on home- produced comedy and drama.

Following on from the success of Love/Hate new four-part series Amber, written by the acclaimed Gary Duggan, will premiere later this year. The drama focuses on the mystery surrounding a missing 14-year-old girl.

And Andy Quirke's new comedy series Damo (below) and Ivor will air on RTE 2 alongside The Mario Rosenstock Show and The Savage Eye.

Painfully awkward travel programme Getaways returns as do a stream of familiar cookery shows – Rachel Allen's Everyday Kitchen, Kevin Dundon's Modern Irish and Donal Skehan's Kitchen Hero.

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