herald

Monday 19 November 2018

Cantwell axed from Midday as all-woman line-up steals show

TV3 news presenter Alan Cantwell has been axed from Midday.

The argumentative presenter, who gave himself the nickname of 'Alan Rantwell', has been unceremoniously dropped as co-presenter of the daily programme.

The controversial TV star will now be replaced by a panel of females on the show every day, which includes the likes of former model Jules Fallon and outspoken politician Mary O'Rourke.

Colette Fitzpatrick, who has been on Midday since it first went on air last year, alongside Alan and former weatherman Martin King, will now be the primary face of the show.

A spokesperson for TV3 told the Herald that Alan would continue to present the daily 5.30pm evening news at the station alongside Colette, while they also have a number of other projects in mind for him.

"There was no particular reason for Alan's departure from the show," said a representative.

"It's just a change in format that was decided on after the Girls Aloud week we did during the summer was such a huge success.

"Obviously Alan will still be a very important part of the news team and will be presenting the evening news every day with Colette.

"We're looking into a number of other things at the moment, which we feel Alan would be perfect for," they added.

Meanwhile, Alan's colleague Colette says she won't have time to miss her former Midday co-host as the pair will still share a desk beside one another every day.

According to the Ballymount star and Herald columnist: "I work with Alan on the news every day as well as sitting at a desk beside him, so there's no chance of us losing touch.

"He was always just meant to be doing it for just a year and I know he's going to be looked at for a couple of other things.

"The reason it's all female is because it worked really well during the summer when we had all the ladies in, there's going to be a panel of about 20 who will contribute.

"At the end of the day, most of the people at home every day are woman and we got a huge response that week.

"We're not going to be like Loose Women though, they seem to do a lot of men bashing and talking about their sex lives, we certainly won't be doing that," she added.

Colette has also been given her own flagship current affairs show called Midweek, which will air every Wednesday night at 9pm.

A delighted Colette explained she had no intention of becoming the next Miriam O'Callaghan, however, and says there is no similarity between Midweek and Prime Time.

"It's not as hard news as Prime Time would be," Colette said. "Vincent is our man for doing current affairs and this is a different market to that.

"It will definitely have a much more human aspect to it and we'll be looking at whatever's going on in the news that week and how it affects the ordinary civilian.

"It's going up against the Nine o'clock news and Champions League so it's not an easy slot, but we're confident there's a market for it," she added.

lnolan@herald.ie

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