Open House (Irish TV programme)

Open House is an afternoon television show broadcast on RTÉ One between 1999 and 2004. The last episode was broadcast in 2004.[2] It was presented by Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan and focused on lifestyle, cookery and human interest issues. Presenters included Dermot O'Neill, the popular gardening expert. The show was broadcast five days a week (Monday to Friday), and was also transmitted to the United Kingdom via Tara Television.

Open House
GenreTalk show
Created byTyrone Productions[1]
Presented byMary Kennedy,
Marty Whelan,
Sheana Keane
Country of originIreland
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes747[1]
Original release
NetworkRTÉ One
Release1999 (1999) –
April 2004 (2004-04)

Open House replaced Live at 3, and was itself replaced by The Afternoon Show.[3]

It was popular with students and rapper Coolio laughed when two of the show's researchers replaced missing dancers.[4]



In March 2004, RTÉ announced it was axing Open House despite rising ratings for the programme.[5] It had earlier had its time slot moved to 15:30.[5] There were complaints on Liveline.[5] Lord Mayor of Dublin Royston Brady described the decision as "bizarre".[5] When news came that it was going to be axed, the programme's fans launched an unsuccessful campaign to save it.[2] Among the signatories of a petition were Gay Byrne and Nicky Byrne from Westlife.[1]

Director of Programmes TV at RTÉ, Clare Duignan, said Open House had been on RTÉ for nearly as long as its predecessor, Live at 3.[6]

The last guest on Open House was Father Aiden Troy, before Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club closed with a performance of "True Friends".[2] Mary and Marty were guests of honour at the Mansion House, Dublin.[2]

The series will on RTE Player to mark 60 Years of Television Christmas 2021.


  1. ^ a b c Nolan, Larissa (11 April 2004). "King of daytime TV will reign again". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 11 April 2004. Marty does not know what will replace Open House , which came to an end last Thursday after 747 shows. "I certainly hope it won't be re-runs of old sitcoms or films," he said. "The whole attraction of Open House was that it was live, current and fresh. It was a Tyrone Productions show so maybe RTE just want to take it back inside and make it themselves, with their own people on board."
  2. ^ a b c d Kearns, Martha (9 April 2004). "Half three will never be the same again . . . Open House RIP". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 April 2004.
  3. ^ Pictures, AMANDA DOHERTY (21 November 1999). "Marty Whelan interview: I really believed my TV career was over after". BNET. Retrieved 11 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Open House shuts its doors. Why? Well, it was a success of course". Irish Independent. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 4 March 2004.
  5. ^ a b c d Cunningham, Grainne; Hegarty, Joanne (5 March 2004). "Marty and Mary seek new TV doors after RTÉ slams shut 'Open House'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 March 2004.
  6. ^ Sheehy, Clodagh (4 March 2004). "Whelan shock as RTÉ wields axe on 'Open House'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2004.
Preceded by Afternoon programming
on Telefís Éireann
Succeeded by