Daddo, Blowers & Ferguson for Nine's new arvos

Nine's new afternoon show, simply titled THIS afternoon, begins next week with its hosts Andrew Daddo and Katrina Blowers.

The one hour, live format will screen from 4:30pm with a mix of news, current affairs, entertainment news, talking points and live interviews.

It is part of a major push by the network to improve its lead-in to the 6pm news and to wrest back its much-prized reputation in news and current affairs. For too long, Seven has been winning news nationally, while Today Tonight out-rates A Current Affair. Meanwhile at 5pm, it is TEN News that wins the hour.

The lead-in to 6pm is so important Nine even brought back Eddie McGuire to front Hot Seat, which may not be topping Deal or No Deal but has certainly improved the network's shares. Nine is so determined to entrench THIS afternoon that it even axed Brisbane's locally-produced Extra after nearly 18 years. The magazine-style show is something of an institution in the Brissy market, famously launched in the 80's when Nine last tried state-based current affairs in the afternoon. It outlasted its Sydney and Melbourne equivalents.

Andrew Daddo comes to Nine with a good deal of experience in this format, having hosted not just live television for the Olympics in 2000 and 2008, but a reputable radio role with the ABC -- which he has given up for this new role.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to start something from scratch, and it was this, coupled with the chance to have dinner with my kids, that enticed me away from my job at ABC radio," he concedes.

Katrina Blowers is also a radio presenter, author and newspaper columnist who worked for five years on Nova's Merrick & Rosso breakfast radio show.

"Having recently been a stay-at-home mother, I know first-hand that afternoons have been crying out for a program like this -- one that’s a little out-of-the-box. I am thrilled that not only is this sort of show now going to exist, but I'm going to be part of it," she said.

They will be joined by Sydney newsreader Mark Ferguson, who ironically was shuffled from his weeknight role to weekends.

THIS afternoon premieres 4:30pm Monday June 29th on Nine.

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