Pat Kenny has admitted he is frightened by his latest career move which will see him host a new current affairs television programme on RTE.

After stepping down from the Late Late Show after ten years, Kenny's new show will begin in the third week of September in the slot previously occupied by Questions and Answers.

"It's always challenging starting a new show," he said. "It's always a bit frightening. It's not like putting on an old sock. It's something brand new and that puts you on your mettle as well. I've done it before, going from Today Tonight to Kenny Live to the Late Late Show."

Kenny has conceded that his new show, a debate programme based on the big news stories of the week and featuring prominent figures, will be in competition for guests with other RTE TV programmes, including Prime Time presented by Miriam O'Callaghan.

"It's normal competition – the normal cut and thrust where individual producers are always trying to do their best for their programmes. I have no doubt TV news will want the minister on the Six One News, we will want the minister on my programme and Prime Time will want the minister on their programme. The same competition that goes on in radio for the big guests."

Kenny also revealed that he originally asked the national broadcaster to air the programme after the Nine O'Clock News.

"I did want it at 9:30pm after the news but we're now operating on the basis that we'll be on from 10:30pm to 11:30pm on Monday nights, the old Questions and Answers slot."

Part of what Kenny says will distinguish his still-untitled programme from other RTE's current affairs shows will be the presence of a studio audience.

"They won't be passive, I can assure you. The audience won't be there to make up the numbers. They will be there to participate. What we want it to be is exciting and stimulating. We want to create water-cooler moments for Tuesday mornings around the country."

Assisting Kenny in this will be producer David Nally and a team of three researchers.

"A researcher's opinion around a table is as valid as mine, but everyone who proposes anything will have it tested by other members of the team regardless. Ultimately David Nally is the producer and the buck stops with him editorially. He has to make the call as to the danger of a legal issue arising."

But as the front man, Kenny is expecting flak from the critics. "Nothing new there. I will get flak but that's the territory. At the same time I think we will be scrutinised in a different way to the way the Late Late Show was scrutinised. Hopefully we will be feeding into the national agenda."