Lorraine Keane set to replace Pat Kenny in UTV Ireland show
It's a case of out with the old and in with the new on UTV Ireland.
TV presenter Lorraine Keane (42) has nabbed a new showbiz programme, aimed at taking over from Pat Kenny's interview show with the fledgling station, the Diary can reveal.
The former Xpose presenter is to present an entertainment show in a move that's bound to ruffle lots of feathers. The show is expected to run for six episodes and feature a different celebrity each week as she gets the low down from some of Ireland's biggest names.
Speculation abounds that Lorraine's new show is an attempt to fill the void left by UTV Ireland's decision to axe Pat Kenny's In the Round programme.
It saw the former RTE star interviewing a single guest, and was recorded in front of a live audience in the Mansion House. Broadcast for five weeks, it saw an average audience of almost 150,000 tuning in.
But now UTV Ireland has set its sights on fresh faces after green-lighting a programme spearheaded by former TV3 star Lorraine.
She'll be raiding her considerable contacts book for the show, which is understood to be in pre-production.
"Lorraine was considered a great choice for this new entertainment programme. She's a recognised face and has over two decades of experience," said a source.
"She filmed a pilot of the show, and UTV Ireland really liked what they saw, so she's now busy compiling a list of guests that she'd like to interview and seeing who's available.
"The station is concentrating on bringing new names into the fold and Lorraine really impressed the bosses there with her interview style and her natural camera presence."
This isn't Lorraine's first time working with the station though. Last May saw her feature in a one-off show as she interviewed singer Josh Groban - which was similar to the kind of programme that she'll be presenting.
Her new show is expected to air early in the New Year.
Lorraine, who has two children, Romy (9) and Emilia (12), with musician hubby Peter Devlin, took time out from her TV career in 2009 after quitting TV3's Xpose.
At the time, she said that she wanted to spend more time at home raising her family but has been working regularly in recent years.