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The Frontline is a topical debate television programme in the Republic of
Ireland. The show airs for 60 minutes every Monday night on RTÉ One at 22:30. It
debuted on Monday, September 21, 2009.
The Frontline replaced a similar political analysis show
 The programme features around an
invited audience and featured guests.[7
Many public figures politicians have appeared on the
Some incidents on the programme have attracted large amount of
 The programme has
generally received good reviews. The
programme is broadcast from Studio 4 in RTÉ.[3
] The first programme received an audience share
of 43.4%, with a viewing audience of 464,000.[13
] Later into the series more 100,000 less people
watched it, watching The Apprentice
The Frontline is hosted by former The Late Late
Show presenter and RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Pat Kenny.
The programme runs for 60 minutes on Monday nights on RTÉ One.
 It is directed by David
 and produced by Dave
 Studio 4 in the RTÉ
Television Centre is the venue of the programme.[3
] It is also used for The Late Late
The show differs from its predecessor Questions and
Answers in that the show does not entirely focus on a
panel. The show regularly features one-on-one interviews with key
political and social figures, such as the Minister for Finance[17
] and the Leader of the Labour Party,
as well as specially themed shows.
 Other formats include a
panel from various social and political backgrounds discussing
political issues affecting Ireland and the wider world.
The programme debates "the most important news stories of the
The programme also features debate on "major political, economic
and social issues".[7
] The programme also features some satire.
head of programming in RTÉ Television, said the programme
wouldn't be a replica of the old format.[21
] An audience also features as part of the
discussion similar to Questions and Answers.
For the beginning of the programme, Kenny “zips around the
studio, microphone in hand”.[17
“The core of it will remain that audiences get a chance to ask
politicians questions, but the format will be a lot more
The first indication that Pat Kenny would present another
television programme, was on the night he announced his departure
from presenting The Late Late Show.[22
] By the time of presenting his last programme, it
was announced a new current affairs programme would begin in autumn
 It was late announced it
would be September 21, 2009.
There was a high demand for tickets, which RTÉ described as phenomenal.
4,000 applications were received for a capacity of 120 seats
(originally 60 for Questions and Answers, which was
 A public invitation for comments
and ideas on topics was issued by the makers of the show.
The first programme had guests such as Eamon Dunphy, Fintan O'Toole, Pat Farrell, Tom Parlon and Brian
Lenihan, Minister for Finance.
Audience members included small business people and mortgage
] Lenihan talked about the proposed National Asset Management
Agency and the purchase of €28 billion in loans from Anglo Irish
As a result of cutbacks, RTÉ could only afford to spend
€2 on sandwiches per person.
For the first two programmes, viewing figures were above the
programme's predecessor Questions and
Answers. The first programme had an initial audience of
464,000 viewers. Overall, the second programme reached an audience
] In November 2009, the viewership was reduced to
333,000, less than the 493,000 received by The Apprentice on
studio before the first broadcast.
On 2 November 2009, Jack O'Connor of SIPTU
suggested that in the 2010 budget, "a reasonable level of tax"
should be placed on "Trophy Houses". Kenny responded by asking what
is a trophy house. To this O'Connor responded with “A house like
 After some hesitation,
||I built my house in
1988. Like, why is that a trophy house? I don’t want this kind of
crap coming at me.
O'Connor then apologised instantly.
The following week (9 November 2009), during an interview with
Mary Hanafin, Alan
O'Brien (who has a conviction from 2006 for incitement to hatred), a
member of the audience, spent three minutes accusing Kenny of
"pontificating and moralising" people on social welfare,
despite being in receipt of a €600,000 salary. Then
referring to a previous
court case involving Kenny, he concluded by saying, “Now I am
going to sue an old woman for a field because I feel I might make a
million or more.” After being removed by security, the programme
The programme generally received a "big thumbs up".
Patrick Freyne of the Sunday Tribune described the
programme, in his television review column, as “the People versus A
Bunch of Bastards”. He also called it “slick, pacy and
 Hilary Fannin writing in
Times, predicted that the programme, in relation to the economy, “will [not]
be allowed to debate much else in the months to come”.
 She also rated it as one of the
best current affairs programmes in 2009. The
two reviewers said that, compared to The Late Late
Show, Kenny was more “in his comfort zone”.
 Sarah Carey, also in The Irish
Times, was disappointed by the tone of the programme
because Kenny was “thoroughly enjoying himself”. She said it was a
televised version of Liveline.
b "RTÉ’s New Political Series
‘The Frontline’ Begins". IFTN. 21
September 2009. http://www.iftn.ie/broadcast/?act1=record&only=1&aid=73&rid=4282522&tpl=archnews&force=1. Retrieved
b "Kenny thumbs up for
Tubridy's 'Late Late' debut". Sunday Tribune. 13 September
2009. http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2009/sep/13/kenny-thumbs-up-for-tubridys-late-late-debut/. Retrieved
c Kenny, Pat (23 September
2009). "From the presenter's
viewpoint...". RTÉ News and Current
Affairs. http://www.rte.ie/ie/frontline/entry/from_the_presenter_s_viewpoint. Retrieved
e "Huge rush for tickets to
Kenny's new show". Evening Herald. September 10,
2009. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/huge-rush-for-tickets-to-kennys-new-show-1882762.html. Retrieved
- ^ a
"The Frontline". RTÉ. http://tvsales.rte.ie/autumn/content/news/front_line.html. Retrieved
b "Recession leaves its mark on
RTÉ schedule". The Irish Times. August 14,
2009. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0814/1224252553041.html. Retrieved
b "RTÉ Television unveils new
Guide. 13 August 2009. http://www.rteguide.ie/2009/0813/rte.html. Retrieved
- ^ a
Collins, Stephen (21 October 2009). "Pay cuts not way to reduce
costs in public sector, says Gilmore". The Irish
Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1021/1224257148064.html. Retrieved 8 January
b "You get €600,000 for 11
hours a week, audience member rants at Pat Kenny in show
tirade". Irish Independent. November 10,
2009. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/around-town/you-get-euro600000-for-11-hours-a-week-audience-member-rants-at-pat-kenny-in-show-tirade-1938837.html. Retrieved
c Corless, Damian (5 November 2009). "It's trial by television
when the big names blow their top . . .". Irish
Independent. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/its-trial-by-television-when-the-big-names-blow-their-top-1934520.html. Retrieved
- ^ a
"ROSEMARY McCABE: Index".
Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2009/0926/1224255037614.html. Retrieved
Lynch, Declan (27 September 2009). "The camera steals my soul,
O'Connor steals the show". Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/the-camera-steals-my-soul-oconnor-steals-the-show-1897952.html. Retrieved 8 January
Claire (October 2, 2009). "Viewers rate Kenny over
Bowman". Evening Herald. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/viewers-rate-kenny-over-bowman-1902787.html. Retrieved
b Boland, John (12 November 2009). "Let's hope TV3's ratings
success forces RTÉ to step up its game". Irish
Independent. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/lets-hope-tv3s--ratings-success-forces-rte-to-step-up-its-game-1940173.html. Retrieved 21 November
- ^ a
"RTÉ Unveils Autumn
Schedule". IFTN. 13 August
2009. http://www.iftn.ie/production/broadcast_news/?act1=record&aid=73&rid=4282406&tpl=archnews&only=1. Retrieved
"County in a tizzy as The
Late Late Show broadcasts from Wexford". Wexford Echo.
2008-09-04. http://www.wexfordecho.ie/news/story/?trs=mhauauqlid&cat=news. Retrieved
c "Kenny takes risks in
Frontline battle". Evening Herald. September 22,
2009. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/kenny-takes-risks-in-frontline-battle-1892931.html. Retrieved
b "RTÉ new season line-up a
blend of new and old". Irish Examiner. 14 August 2009. http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rte-new-season-line-up-a-blend-of-new-and-old-98700.html. Retrieved
- ^ a
"The Frontline". RTÉ News. http://www.rte.ie/news/thefrontline/. Retrieved
^ "Kenny's in the Frontline but
he'll miss Late Late craic". Irish Independent. September 21,
2009. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/kennys-in-the-frontline-but-hell-miss-late-late-craic-1891978.html. Retrieved
b "RTE opts to play a home
game". The Sunday Business Post.
August 16, 2009. http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=MEDIA+AND+MARKETING-qqqs=mediaandmarketing-qqqid=43741-qqqx=1.asp. Retrieved
"Pat Kenny to leave Late Late
Show". RTÉ. 27 March 2009. http://www.rte.ie/arts/2009/0327/kennyp.html. Retrieved
^ "Pat Kenny to present final
Late Late Show tonight". Irish Independent. May 29,
2009. http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/national-news/entertainment/pat-kenny-to-present-final-late-late-show-tonight-1755427.html. Retrieved
Minihan, Mary (September 22, 2009). "Lenihan sets out timescale
for Nama". The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0922/1224254991654.html. Retrieved
^ "Just €2 each to feed
Frontline guests in cutbacks". Evening Herald. September 24,
2009. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/just-83642-each-to-feed-frontline-guests-in-cutbacks-1895252.html. Retrieved
"This Week They Said".
Times. 7 November 2009. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1107/1224258280459.html. Retrieved
Lavery, Michael (November 11, 2009). "I'm no racist, says man who
berated Kenny on live TV". Evening Herald. http://www.herald.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/im-no-racist-says-man-who-berated-kenny-on-live-tv-1939408.html. Retrieved
"Kenny heckler 'not
sorry". Irish Examiner. November 10,
2009. http://www.examiner.ie/breakingnews/ireland/kenny-heckler-not-sorry-433699.html. Retrieved
b Freyne, Patrick (September 27, 2009). "Welcome to 'Hour of
hate'". Sunday Tribune. http://www.tribune.ie/article/2009/sep/27/television-critic-patrick-freyne-welcome-to-hour-o/?q=frontline%20pat%20kenny. Retrieved
b Fannin, Hilary. "Blood on the office
floor". The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2009/0926/1224255263203.html. Retrieved
Fannin, Hilary (19 December 2009). "So long . . . it's been
real". The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2009/1219/1224260949393.html. Retrieved 30 December
Carey, Sarah (28 October 2009). "Current affairs as fairy
tale seems to be Kenny's line". The Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1028/1224257551920.html. Retrieved 8 January