herald

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Lorraine: Countdown to unfolding of Xpose drama

Lorraine Keane pictured leaving TV3 yesterday.

LORRAINE Keane has denied that she is parting with TV3 on bad terms – and has played down speculation of a bust up.

In an interview with the Herald last night, the Xpose anchor woman said her resignation came after much thought on her future.

“No, there's absolutely no animosity and I'm not a fighter – I'm not that type of person,” she said.

“I put so much thought into my resignation and, you know, did it the right way so that there wouldn't be any ill feeling. They've been my work family for almost 11 years. And who's to say I won't work here again?”

However, the Herald understands from sources that Lorraine handed in her notice on Tuesday following a row with her station superiors about the future direction of the show.

Both sides have denied that any such row occurred, with TV3’s Head of News, Andrew Hanlon, wishing Keane the best for the future, before saying the channel will move on without her.

The row occurred on Tuesday – and led to Lorraine handing in her notice, stating her intention that she was finished with the station.

Shortly after this move, Lorraine’s agent, Noel Kelly, issued a statement to all media outlets, except TV3, stating that his client was leaving the Ballymount broadcaster after 11 years at the entertainment helm. The statement was released at approximately 3pm.

One insider said Lorraine and her superiors couldn’t agree on proposed format changes on Xpose.

“He (Hanlon) raised a few issues with her, one thing led to another and they basically couldn’t see eye-to-eye on how to move forward with the programme.

“When Lorraine walked out of the office, she wasn’t a happy bunny. Shortly afterwards, the

statement that she had decided to leave the station was released from her agent, Noel Kelly.”

Embarrassingly, TV3 appear to have been caught unaware by this move. The Herald understands that most of the staff at TV3 were unaware of what took place between Keane and her superiors. Many only found out Lorraine was leaving after seeing the news via RTE.

“The first we found out about it was when someone clicked on the entertainment section of the RTE website and it had a story posted up about Lorraine leaving TV3.

“We were all absolutely gobsmacked,” said an insider.

“No one in the station knew anything about it until her agent sent out the statement saying she was leaving Xpose.

“We were all getting texts from journalists outside the station trying to find out what was going on when Lorraine walked into the newsroom. She goes ‘Oh, do you all know?’ and seemed kind of shocked about that.”

Half an hour after Mr Kelly issued a statement on Lorraine’s behalf, TV3 bosses issued a statement, via an internal email, announcing Lorraine’s imminent departure and wishing her the best for the future.

And there was more drama to come.

Lorraine was in tears after she told the rest of the Xpose team that she was leaving. She then had to pre-record her show as normal. Afterwards, a private meeting was called for the Xpose staff – but Lorraine was asked to stay outside.

“She took the Xpose girls down to a separate area and told them in person that she was leaving. She was really upset and very teary about the whole thing, as were the other girls. They were all gobsmacked, no one had seen this coming.

“She had to have her make-up touched up again as she had to go on then and pre-record the show which must have been difficult for her.

“What made it worse was that after the show, all the Xpose girls were called in for a private meeting, but Lorraine was asked to stay outside.”

Meanwhile, an upbeat Lorraine turned up to work as usual yesterday where she was hugged by her sister Tory, who also works at the station. TV3 have confirmed that Lorraine will finish up at the station tomorrow, and she will not be playing any part in the upcoming Xpose Live show.

Her family are said to be over the moon with her announcement that she’s leaving the station – with hopes of eventually joining RTE.

“When she told her young daughter, she jumped for joy, she was that thrilled to have her mum to herself for a while,” said a pal.

But the savvy presenter even managed to poke fun at the controversy on last night’s programme. “Yes I’m Lorraine Keane and yes, I’m still here with you!” she told viewers.

A media blackout has been imposed on the station as TV3 go into damage limitation mode. But a three-line internal email was circulated on Tuesday afternoon, after her own statement was released, announcing her department and wishing her all the best with her future.

Officially, the mum of two has said that her decision was to allow her to move on to new challenges and spend time with her young family.

“Having spent two wonderful years as the presenter of Xpose I feel I have achieved what I set out to do with the show,” she said.

Head of News Andrew Hanlon has told the Herald how they would have “no problem” finding another presenter.

“I’m just saying that no one presenter is bigger than the show,” he said.

Denying there was an argument, he added: “There are always rumours if anyone leaves TV. We’ve worked together for a long time and I think she just wants to go off and pursue other things.”

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