Ronan Collins to step down from RTÉ show after 43 years

Broadcaster will continue to present The Collins Collection on bank holidays

Ronan Collins is to step down from his weekday RTÉ Radio 1 programme in two weeks’ time, it has been announced, with the 70 year-old confirming on air on Friday that the December 23rd Ronan Collins Show will be his last.

Collins joined the broadcaster almost 44 years ago, working initially at the newly launched Radio 2 which he joined from the pirate radio sector in 1979. He subsequently transferred to Radio 1 and has been presenting the Ronan Collins Show since the mid-eighties.

Over the course of his career at Montrose he has had lengthy spells working in television and other projects and provided commentary on both the European Song Contest and the Olympics.

In the most recent JNLR survey, published in November, The Ronan Collins Show was still the most-listened-to music show on Irish radio, drawing 232,000 listeners every weekday. He is to continue to broadcast on the station on bank holidays in the new year, starting with a show on January 2nd.

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The broadcaster has said it will announce a successor for the daily programme in the coming days.

In a statement issued after Collins told listeners to Friday’s show of his impending departure, he said: “I’ve been working on afternoon radio on RTÉ Radio 1 for nearly 38 years, plus six years before that on Radio 2, and nobody will ever know how grateful I have been for all the opportunities over the past 40 years and going forward with RTÉ.

“I often ask myself ‘how much longer can I continue to do this’ and the answer always is ‘just keep going’. New challenges await now on RTÉ in 2023, and I will continue to be on RTÉ Radio 1 with The Collins Collection on bank holidays.”

Paying tribute to Collins on Friday, Peter Woods, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, said: “Ronan Collins is a legend on Irish radio. He has fronted the biggest music programme in the country and leaves it at the top of his game. He has had a career that is unlikely to be paralleled or exceeded at any time in the future.”

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Industry and Employment Correspondent at The Irish Times