Pat Kenny's UTV ratings slump as Chris Hadfield fails to take off
He may have orbited planet earth but singing astronaut Chris Hadfield failed to give Pat Kenny's In The Round chat show a ratings boost this week.
Figures for the hour-long programme slumped to 66,000 - less than half the number of people who tuned in to the first episode of UTV Ireland's flagship show.
An average of 150,000 viewers watched Kenny interview GAA legend Mickey Harte last Monday. These figures fell by 84,000 this week when Hadfield settled into the chair in Dublin's Mansion House.
The ratings are disappointing given the programme followed Coronation Street and inherited the soap's strong figures of 416,000.
It must be noted, however, that Kenny's chat show faced stiff competition from rival stations. TV3's special on Brian O'Donnell, The Battle of Gorse Hill, caused a furore on social media pulling in 74,700 viewers.
Meanwhile on RTE, Ireland and the Eurovision - a once-off documentary fronted by broadcaster Angela Scanlon - secured ratings of 351,800.
Last night, Head of Channel at UTV Ireland Mary Curtis defended the ratings.
"It's very early days for this new series but the feedback from our audience about the quality of the programme has been hugely positive which is very encouraging," she said.
"With three further episodes to run before summer, we look forward to announcing more guests in the very near future."
Kenny believes both programmes have received a positive response from the general public.
"I have been getting texts about it all day today," he said. "Those who did watch it seemed to like it."
Singer Lulu is Kenny's next guest.