|Genre Light entertainment|
Original language(s) English
|Country of origin Ireland|
Camera setup Multi-camera
|Presented by Thelma Mansfield
Location(s) Studio 5, RTÉ Television Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Live at 3 is a popular Irish afternoon chat show broadcast live on RTÉ 1. Presented by Thelma Mansfield and Derek Davis, it was RTÉ's flagship daytime show from 1986 until 1997. Ireland's most successful Daytime TV programme, reaching audiences of 300,000 at times, both young and old. The Monday edition was produced for older viewers and evolved from " Going Strong" presented by Bunny Carr. Its theme music was 'Arlecchino' by Rondò Veneziano.
In 1986 RTÉ had a new corporate brand for both of its stations RTÉ 1 and RTÉ 2. As a result of this the daytime service split its programming between adults and children. Good Afternoon, broadcast on RTÉ 1 for several years, saw presentation announcer Thelma Mansfield at the helm introducing both children's and adult programmes, she also carried out interviews with musicians and other well known people. From 1986 Good Afternoon remained but Ian Dempsey, accompanied by Zig and Zag, took control of introducing children's programming from 4:30pm with a new show called Dempsey's Den. This was preceded by a new magazine-style show called Live at 3, which Director of Television Dick Hill asked producer Noel Smyth to set up and edit.
The first edition of Live at 3 was broadcast from Studio 4 in the RTÉ Television Centre at Donnybrook, Dublin 4. This was the first studio to be brought into full operation at RTÉ since the Television Centre was built in 1961. The studio was completed in 1982 but was not fully equipped until four years later. In 1982 Thelma received the Jacobs TV Award for "Live at 3" and Derek received it for "Live at 3" in 1991.
In 1997, RTÉ decided to axe Live at 3. Thelma Mansfield later revealed she was first made aware of this when she saw a newspaper headline reporting the show's cancellation while stopped at a filling station in the west of Ireland.