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  • Northside West

COMMENT: So far so good for TV3's late night double act

Monday, 9th October, 2017 7:59am

Story by Tony McCullagh
COMMENT: So far so good for TV3's late night double act

Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates are co-presenters of ‘The Tonight Show’ on TV3

COMMENT: So far so good for TV3's late night double act

Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates are co-presenters of ‘The Tonight Show’ on TV3

LEGENDARY journalist Vincent Browne left pretty big boots to fill when he departed TV3 during the summer.

Not since Podge & Rodge gave us  ‘A Scare at Bedtime’ had television been so terrifying, yet highly amusing, as Browne’s often hapless guests ducked and dived to avoid the veteran broadcaster’s confrontational interviewing style. 

His savaging of the New Land League’s Jerry Beades will go down as one of the most memorable moments from the show. Equally, SIPTU’s Jack O’Connor’s walkout was another piece of (unintentional) comedy gold served up for supper by TV3.

Due to Browne’s fearsome reputation, many politicians were ‘unavailable’ when invited to appear on his show. Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny was not a fan after Browne made offensive comments about him (which, in fairness, he apologised for).

Browne was far from what you’d call a polished presenter but he did display a strong sense of social injustice which made his show such compulsive viewing.

Such was the void left in the Ballymount studios by Browne’s departure that it has taken two media heavyweights to replace him. You might think that the selection process would have been more mindful of gender balance, particularly in light of recent controversies in other media organisations.

Still, it’s hard to argue with the choice of Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates as co-hosts of ‘The Tonight Show’. I’m not usually a fan of double-headers on television or radio current affairs. Quite often it results in a battle for dominance or clash of egos and the forced camaraderie can really grate at times.

Both presenters bring impressive credentials to the show: Cooper, a former editor of The Sunday Tribune and successful Today FM presenter; in Yates, we have a one-time TD, minister, businessman, author and a late blooming broadcaster. 

And while I’ve yet to see sparks fly between the pair on the new show, the viewer is left with the reasonable expectation that they’re not going to agree on everything. 

The quality of guests and contributors has been strong so far and the hosts are not afraid to poke fun at themselves (a tip they may well have picked up from Browne).

On radio, Yates is hardly known for his political correctness and it will be interesting to see if this approach lands him in controversy or if he will be tamed by the presence of the more measured Cooper. 

There are, naturally, some minor quibbles. The repeated tweets about the presenters’ dress sense is starting to become a little tiresome and the co-hosts, at times, seem to enjoy the ribbing just a little too much. 

But so far so good. The dynamic between the pair has been most promising and TV3 seems to have produced a current affairs show that gives RTÉ a run for its money.

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