BROADCASTER Pat Kenny wants the new Prime Time debate in his old Frontline slot.
The veteran current affairs host says that many in RTE are still "bruised" by the Fr Kevin Reynolds controversy, but insists the station is still trusted by the public.
Commenting for the first time on the revamped current affairs show, the 65-year-old said he would prefer a Monday slot instead of Tuesday.
"Tuesdays have been a bit problematic in that all sorts of things happen on Tuesdays which means we have to curtail the debate.
"That was never an issue on Mondays because it's a quieter news day."
However he says that, while he "made no secret" of the fact that he was against the axing of Frontline, he accepts the decision of RTE's new news and current affairs chief, Kevin Bakhurst.
"It's very refreshing dealing with Kevin – you ask him a question and you get an answer.
"But there's no row between us. I made no secret of the fact that I didn't think Frontline should be axed. It had created a loyal and enthusiastic following. Now the job for us is to do the same for the reconfigured Prime Time," Kenny said.
Former BBC executive Bakhurst described Kenny as "capable of making a forceful point" and suffering a "wrench" abandoning his previous Frontline debate.
Describing Prime Time as a "work in progress", Kenny said the debate could move to Monday nights after the summer break.
"Monday nights at 9.30pm would be the best of both worlds. The problem with the 10.30pm slot we have now on Tuesdays is that it's bedtime for a lot of working people," he said.
Kenny was delighted with the highest audience yet for the relaunched Prime Time, when half-a-million viewers tuned in for a papal special last week, which featured Kenny in Dublin and Miriam O'Callaghan in Rome.