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Series 8


This season Francis takes on another challenging portfolio of businesses and once again he’s got an exciting range of projects to tackle - from getting a caravan park up and running, to making-over an undertakers!

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Episode Guide

Episode 1 CAROLINE WORKMAN, SELF-CATERING COTTAGES Dunany Townland, Co Louth Brand new series presented by 5 star hotel expert Francis Brennan who’s tackling another diverse portfolio of struggling hospitality businesses. This week he’s helping Caroline Workman who’s keen to create a new holiday rentals business in the grounds of her family’s country house. Caroline makes ends meet by selling her homemade bread and cakes at Drogheda’s weekly market. But by renovating her cottages she hopes to create a much-needed new source of income. However, the pressure is on as the cottages must be ready in time for a family wedding and, although she has has bags of enthusiasm, she’s sadly lacking in business experience.

Episode 2 MC CARTHY’S PUB, RESTAURANT & UNDERTAKER Fethard, Co Tipperary “We’ll wine you, dine you and bury you” is McCarthy’s slogan and it’s a first for 5 star hotel expert Francis Brennan as he’s challenged to breathe new life into a funeral home. Vincent Murphy is the 5th generation of undertakers in his family and he knows his premises are unacceptable for his clients - both dead and alive. He’s got a shoddy coffin store, a cold, dull restaurant and a funeral home that hasn’t been redecorated for years. Francis is called in to help and the results are at times startling!

Episode 3 CURRAGHCHASE CARAVAN & CAMPING PARK Kilcornan, Co Limerick Glamping expert John Brennan returns to At Your Service in this week’s episode when he’s called in by his brother Francis to help a novice caravan park owner. 29 year old Warren Higgins has taken on a nerve-wracking project which involves reopening a disused caravan and camping park. He’s got a business plan – but after discussion with John finds it needs a speedy rethink. And that’s not the only rush – the park has to open for the vital summer season, but after 4 years under wraps there’s a ton of work to complete before it’ll be in any way ready for happy campers.

Episode 4 NUALA’s Tuamgraney, Scariff, Co Clare Nuala and Paul Kilkenny have owned their bar and restaurant business for 17 years but it’s looking very outdated and is now well overdue a Brennan business overhaul. The whole place needs a rebrand – everything from the original name, Teach Uí Bhriain, to the dull 55 seater restaurant, cluttered pub and neglected apartment above. But Nuala and Paul are determined to make all the changes without ever closing their doors to their customers - resulting in all-night building stints and frayed nerves.

Episode 5 HAZELWOOD LODGE Ballyvaughan, Co.Clare It’s a family affair for Francis Brennan this week as he’s called in to help with not one, but two, new business ventures. Victor and Geraldine Mc Sweeney have bought a 9 bedroom disused guesthouse near Ballyvaughan. Their daughter Lesley, her partner Darren (and their baby Liv) have taken out a lease on tea rooms in the centre of the village. The guesthouse needs a total revamp but with so much going on can the Mc Sweeneys meet Francis’s strict 10-week deadline before opening?

Episode 6 BLUESTACK COMMUNITY CENTRE & HOSTEL Drimarone (nr. Donegal Town), Co.Donegal The Bluestack Centre really is at the heart of this rural community and offers everything from bingo sessions to jiving nights. But their real moneyspinner should be the Centre’s 28 bed hostel which, despite its pristine condition, is getting very few bookings. Francis Brennan has been called in to come up with a strategy to fill beds and get the Bluestack Centre earning its keep.

Episode 7 TWIN TREES HOTEL Ballina, Co Mayo The Twin Trees Hotel (formerly known as the Downhill House Hotel) has been bought out of receivership and needs to entice back the business it once attracted. But owners Rachael and David are working almost round the clock to keep this 55 room hotel running. They need direction from Francis Brennan on how to focus their energies and turn around the hotel’s fortunes. Luckily, love is in the air!

Episode 8 OLD MONASTERY HOSTEL Letterfrack, Co Galway A 50 metre long washing dryer is just one of the many intriguing finds for Francis when he’s challenged to help an eco-friendly hostel in the remote Connemara area of County Galway. Running the hostel is the dream of one-time traveller and local man Stephen Gannon, who’s owned the hostel for the last 25 years. He’s proud of his ecologically self-sufficient business but his love of recycling means that the place now resembles a junkyard! What will five star Francis think?

"Brothers In Bother. Just when we thought there was a sameness to many of the programmes in this long-running series, the Brennan Brothers get a chance in this edition to prove they can do something a bit different. Frolics, and some fun, is guaranteed when the finicky Kenmare duo are asked to revive the fortunes of Dublin’s United Arts Club; but how will the famously flighty Francis deal with the demands of the posh establishment’s committee? He has never helped a private members’ club before and, to compound matters, he discovers that his bed in this one is already occupied, so he can’t stay overnight. The bother. " Sunday Times 3 Feb 2013
"The Brennan Brothers arrive up to Dublin, as they've been called to the United Arts Club, where changes seem to be required to ensure it's survival. The club is 100 years old and the Brennans quickly feel every year of it, with Francis refusing even to stay the night in one of it's rooms. Further for the first time, he has a committee, rather than just one person, to bend to his will." 'TV OF THE WEEK' Sunday Independent, 3 February 2013
"Pick of the day." 'CRITICS' CHOICE' Sunday Times 13 January 2013
"Francis is what we in Ireland call 'a character.' He has snow white hair like a happy sheepdog, a pocket square that changes colour over the course of an episode and a voice that shifts pitch like a haunted theremin. He keeps his spectacles on a string around his neck and peers through them on occasion to examine the sins of mankind or a nice piece of cake. " Patrick Freyne, Irish Times - 'Judgmental TV at its very best'