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Sunday 20 October 2019

Xpose gets axe after 12 years amid 'revamp'

Cassie Stokes, Glenda Gilson and Karen Koster have been mainstays of the Xpose team. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Cassie Stokes, Glenda Gilson and Karen Koster have been mainstays of the Xpose team. Photo: Brian McEvoy

The curtain will soon come down on entertainment programme Xpose with the decision by Virgin Media Television to shelve it after 12 years on the air.

The Ballymount-based company confirmed the end of the long-running show yesterday and said it was part of a "major daytime revamp".

The show, fronted by Nadine Reid, Glenda Gilson and Cassie Stokes, will screen its final broadcast on Friday, October 4, with an hour-long special.

It first began airing in 2007 at the height of the Celtic Tiger and made household names of Lorraine Keane and Karen Koster.

Tribute

A spokeswoman has confirmed that Koster will now stay on as a presenter on Ireland AM, which is now getting a longer run, after she hit the right note with viewers.

She did not return to Xpose after her maternity leave ended a few months ago but was drafted on to the breakfast television show.

Speaking about the show being cancelled, the station's MD Pat Kiely thanked everyone involved in Xpose.

"I would like to pay tribute to the Xpose team and all who worked on the show over the last 12 years," he said.

"Xpose set the standard for entertainment reporting in an era before the proliferation of social media and leaves behind a genuine legacy in Irish entertainment journalism."

However, an inside source told the Herald that it had been "on the cards" for some time.

"A rumour had been doing the rounds for some time that the show's run was coming to an end," the source said.

"The writing was really on the wall when they moved it from a daily slot to airing it once a week on a Friday. The signs haven't been good for a while."

The move comes as Virgin Media concentrates on live programming as it makes bigger use of its new multimillion-euro studio.

Elaine Crowley's show will feature in a new early time slot, from 11am to noon instead of being pre-recorded at 3pm.

Other changes will be an extension of the popular Ireland AM morning show by an additional hour, meaning it will run from 7-11am.

Weekend AM, fronted by Anna Daly and Simon Delaney, will now be rebranded to Ireland AM on Saturdays and Sundays with a combined presentation team working across the seven-day breakfast show.

Virgin Media say these changes will result in an additional 300 hours of live Irish programming.

It will no longer air Loose Woman and This Morning.

There will also be a new lunchtime news show anchored by Colette Fitzpatrick.

The Six O'Clock Show presented by Muireann O'Connell will also be broadcast five days a week as part of the changes.

Tastes

Mr Kiely added in his statement: "Like all broadcasters, we are facing on-going economic and competitive challenges.

"This means we must move with the times and reflect changing tastes and media consumption.

"It also means making tough decisions to ensure we remain viable and relevant."

Former Xpose guest host, fashion stylist Darren Kennedy, told the Herald his heart goes out to the staff who lost their jobs.

"I really hope they will be looked after, but when it comes to TV you really can't rely on your show lasting forever. I think 12 years is an amazing run for any programme," he said.

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