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Producers were reportedly worried that the show featuring Zappone may not be aired because of the BAI’s rules about balancing air time during referendum campaigns, and the story prompted the Communications Minister to write to the broadcasting authority seeking clarity for broadcasters.
The Al Porter-fronted light entertainment show was billed as one of the highlights of the Ballymount broadcaster’s autumn schedule last year.
He announced his resignation from Today FM and said he was standing aside from his role in this Christmas's Olympia Theatre panto, which he co-wrote with comedian Karl Spain.
Former Mrs Brown’s Boys and Gogglebox star Rory Cowan has replaced Porter in the pantomime.
It was reported at the time that she left because her male co-hosts Mark Cagney and Alan Hughes were paid a higher salary – and her solicitor later issued a statement saying it was “now a legal matter”.
Asked about a wider current issue in broadcasting, disparities in pay between employees of different gender, Malone again declined to make a substantial comment.
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Speaking at yesterday’s launch of TV3′s spring schedule, head of programming Bill Malone insisted that, contrary to reports, there was “never any plan for Blind Date in the spring schedule”.