Doyle bows out as tributes pour in

 

She may have wished for a low key exit but RTÉ refused to let Anne Doyle go quietly into the night as the curtain came down on her 33 years as a newsreader on Christmas Day.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny and veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne were among those who paid an on-air tribute to the veteran news reader immediately after she finished her final bulletin yesterday.

Ms Doyle signed off with the words “For me, it’s been a pleasure. Good fortune. Goodbye” just before 9pm on Christmas Day but the news bulletin did not end there and was immediately followed by a selection of clips from her 33 years reading the news.

The selection of clips and images was introduced by fellow RTÉ newsreader Eileen Dunne and interspersed with tributes. “What I like about you is your wonderful speaking voice and that alluring quality that has endeared you to millions of Irish people,” the Taoiseach said before thanking her “on behalf of us all”.

Mr Byrne also commented on her “beautiful diction and clear annunciation” and said she had “a wonderfully smart grasp of the news she was reading.

As her final broadcast got underway Ms Doyle became the most popular trending topic on Twitter in Ireland as users lined up to sing her praises.

Paying tribute to the veteran newsreader, the director general of RTÉ Noel Curran described her as one of the “most familiar faces and voices on RTÉ’s services” for more than a generation and said she was “in the front rank of the public’s affections”. He said she had always read the news with detachment and authority but combined that with “evident warmth which the public has instinctively recognised”.

Managing Director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs, Cillian de Paor said her departure was “genuinely the end of an era in our newsroom”.

Ms Doyle recounted some of the many highlights of her newsreading career with some close colleagues who had were out at Montrose following the broadcast.

“I’ve had a wonderful time here in RTÉ and I will miss it hugely, but it feels like the right time to move on. I will be 60 in January and there are many exciting projects ahead. I wish all my good friends and colleagues in the Newsroom, with whom I have so enjoyed working for over thirty years, every happiness as I take my leave for the final time this evening."