Belfast Telegraph

UTV's new station goes live in Republic

By Sam Griffin

Stars of the Republic's newest television station toasted the New Year in style as UTV Ireland took to the airwaves beaming a mixture of soap opera, interviews and entertainment into homes.

Bosses at the network have pledged to replace TV3 as the main rival to RTE by this time next year and kicked off their broadcasting legacy with a short introduction to the new station at 7.25pm, followed by Emmerdale and Coronation Street - shows previously broadcast by TV3.

That was followed by Pat Kenny's Out With The Old - In With The U - an hour-long special which saw the former RTE man speaking with musician Hozier.

There were also interviews with Irish rugby player Tommy Bowe and entrepreneur Sean O'Sullivan, as well as people from around the country looking forward to 2015.

After announcing it was setting up an Irish arm in 2013, the new station has created more than 100 jobs and has prised stars away from rivals RTE and TV3, as well as Chris Donoghue who will continue his work with Newstalk.

Alison Comyn, who worked with RTE and Channel 4, will front the nightly news programme.

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