‘I am relishing the opportunity’
Full text of statement by Pat Kenny
Pat Kenny in the Late Late show studio
Statement issued by Pat Kenny on his leaving RTE:
“Having been an on air presence on RTÉ radio and television for all of my broadcasting life, I have now decided to take on a new challenge. I have accepted an offer from Newstalk to host a mid-morning current affairs and features show, with the objective of building a major audience in that time slot.
“I am relishing the opportunity and the challenge to work in the independent commercial sector.
“Over my career, despite its continuity within RTÉ, and particularly my years on mid-morning radio, from time to time I have radically changed direction, moving from children’s TV to music programmes, arts and features to news and current affairs. In 1988, while co-anchor on the flagship current affairs programme Today Tonight I was invited to present the Eurovision Song Contest, which in turn led to an 11 year period presenting a Saturday night entertainment show, Kenny Live. Then with the retirement of Gay Byrne, came perhaps the most daunting challenge to take on the Late Late Show, which I hosted for ten years. At that point in 2008, I was given the opportunity to develop an original current affairs show The Frontline, which proved to be popular with audiences and was not without its share of memorable moments and controversy. So, against that background, I am delighted to have been invited to participate in a new on-air adventure.
“I want to pay tribute to my wonderful and talented colleagues in RTÉ who contributed so much to our joint successes. They may no longer be my colleagues, but I hope they will always remain my friends.
“At this time, I have no immediate plans for TV but I would hope to return to your screens in some capacity in the not too distant future.
“Most of all, I would like to thank all of the listeners and viewers who have tuned in over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship with the audience on Newstalk from September.”