Entertainment Radio

Wednesday 17 September 2014

BOD latest victory revealed as six figure deal for Newstalk

Melanie Finn

Published 04/06/2014 | 07:44

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Brian O'Driscoll poses in the Newstalk studio after the announcement

Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll is scrumming down for “the long haul” with Newstalk after landing a lucrative deal with them.

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Although the details of his contract are being kept under wraps, The Herald can reveal the Grand-Slam winner (35) was paid a six-figure sum to join the station.

O’Driscoll, who will take up the post on the Off the Ball show in September, last night spoke of his last game for Leinster saying it was torture to watch the end of the match from the sidelines after he was taken off injured.

His team emerged victorious in the Rabodirect Pro12 final against Glasgow Warriors.

In an interview with his new station, he said: “I was a nervous spectator, really wanting to finish with a medal, albeit I felt a little bit fraudulent only getting seven minutes.”

He said of the calf injury that he had been carrying for some time: “It was hard to feel hard done by because I got to win a Six Nations, I got to the final.”

Of his new job as a pundit, O’Driscoll said he’ll find it difficult to talk about his former teamates but added: “Hopefully I’ll be able to come in and add my tuppence worth.”

The lucrative deal has 
been in the pipeline from as far back as last year when tentative negotiations began between the station and the sporting legend.

A Newstalk spokesperson said that he’s in it for the long haul and has committed himself to the station.

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Declining to say how long the contract was for, they said it was “anticipated on both sides that this is a long-term relationship”.

A source close to the star said it was “no coincidence” that Newstalk sponsored BOD’s Testimonial celebration, which took place in Dublin’s Convention Centre in November, 2013. “He is looking at building a lengthy relationship with them - it’s not just a flash in the pan thing,” they
said.

As part of his contract with Newstalk, his radio work will be exclusive to them and he won’t be able to report on any other Irish station.

However, it’s understood that he is still free to pursue any possible TV projects that may occur in the future.

His former team-mate Keith Wood already works at the station as a rugby pundit while also working for BBC TV as a commentator.

Given that the Rugby World Cup is taking place in England in September, 2015, O’Driscoll’s expected to be signed up with one of the stations as an expert pundit.

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