Gay Byrne denies he is to quit radio show


A newspaper report that Gay Byrne is to quit his RTE radio show at the end of the season was described by him yesterday as "total concoctions".

Mr Byrne said he had always maintained that he would continue with both his radio show and The Late Late Show until the end of the season, next summer, then "see how things are".

He would then talk to RTE management about the future of his two programmes. "That is what I said at the beginning of the season and nothing has changed. I am floating at the moment."

There was no truth in yesterday's newspaper report, he said. No journalist had contacted him and he had talked to no one. The rumours started when it was announced that Gareth O'Callaghan, who has been hosting The Gay Byrne Show for two days a week, was leaving at the end of January, to be replaced by Des Cahill.

Some reports have since suggested that Mr Cahill will take over from Gay Byrne when he decides to retire from the radio programme.

The Director of RTE Radio, Ms Helen Shaw, said on the Soundbyte programme on Saturday that she would be talking to Mr Byrne about his plans.

It was clear from the interview on Soundbyte that she was not happy with Mr Byrne hosting the show for three days a week only and having a split in the presentation of a prime-time show.

It is believed that Ms Shaw, who was appointed Director of Radio recently, intends to implement a radical shake-up of Radio 1. What Mr Byrne's place in that will be is not yet known. Since Mr Byrne decided to host his show for three mornings a week Radio 1 has lost listeners at what is considered a crucial time of the day.