WHEN Noel Curran announced in March that he would be stepping down from his position as managing director of TV at RTE, citing "quality of life issues", it came as a shock to many in Montrose. But despite the fact that Curran is only 44, he was already one of the longest-serving bosses in RTE.
Curran joined the station as a reporter in 1992 after a period working as a business journalist, later producing both Kenny Live and The Late Late Show. In 1997, he produced the hugely successful Eurovision which was held in Dublin and presented by Ronan Keating and Carrie Crowley. He later married the 1996 winner Eimear Quinn, who sang at the contest.
Curran left RTE in 2000 to join an independent production company but returned as editor of current affairs, where he helped launch the Prime Time Investigates series of documentaries. In 2003, he was appointed as managing director of TV -- and with an increase in the licence fee he was in command of a €100m budget.
The period saw increased investment in Irish content coupled with big-name shows from the US, some of which worked (The Sopranos) and some of which didn't (Joey).
Curran recently became a father, which is believed to have affected his decision to leave his post. While RTE have said that Curran will still work with the station in "an advisory capacity" at least one high-profile production house in the UK has been rumoured to be pursuing him.
He is also rumoured to be a favourite to succeed Cathal Goan as director-general at RTE. While he may be looking to spend more time at home, at just 44, it's unlikely that Curran is retired just yet.