Sunday 24 September 2017

Ray D'Arcy leaves Today FM to return to RTE

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Ray D'Arcy is leaving Today FM after 14 years - to return to RTE.

The 50-year-old radio presenter has helmed the hugely successful Ray D'Arcy Show on weekday mornings on Today FM since 2000.

RTE has confirmed Ray will work across both radio and television at RTE and will fill Derek Mooney's afternoon slot on RTE Radio 1.

Mooney will quit his show, which airs daily from 3pm to 4.30pm, from January to take up a new role as 'wildlife executive' across RTE television and radio.

Ray will be making the move from mornings to afternoons as The Ray D'Arcy Show airs 9am to 12 noon.

Today FM has confirmed that the broadcaster has left the station with immediate effect - meaning he will not be on air tomorrow.

Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy's show has a new sponsorship deal with insurance firm AA
Ray Darcy - Today FM's The Ray Darcy Show broke their fifth World Record for Today FMs Shave or Dye. 179 heads and 179 shavers, recruited by the show, were gathered in The Round Room to undertake the record attempt. Photo: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Ray D'Arcy and Jenny Kelly
Today FM's The Ray Darcy Show broke their fifth World Record for Today FMs Shave or Dye. 179 heads and 179 shavers, recruited by the show, were gathered in The Round Room to undertake the record attempt. Pictures: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Ray D'Arcy receives an award from Road Safety Authority chief Gay Byrne at the RSA Leading Lights 2013 ceremony in Farmleigh, Dublin
Ray D'Arcy with his wife Jenny, daughter Kate, and son Tom at the Marks & Spencer St Patrick's Day Breakfast. Picture: Kieran Harnett

D'Arcy left the state broadcaster to helm his own radio show at Today FM in 2000, having spent 13 years presenting mainly children's TV programmes at RTE.

These included Jo Maxi, Blackboard Jungle,  2Phat and The Den, the children's afternoon show he took over from Ian Dempsey and presented for eight years.

Ray's wife Jenny Kelly left her job as producer on The Ray D'Arcy Show in June this year after almost 14 years working alongside her husband.

Jenny cited the desire to spend more time with her children as her reason for leaving.

Similarly, long-time co-producer and presenter Mairead Farrell also left The Ray D'Arcy Show in September to take up a role as producer on the earlier Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, which would allow her to spend more time in the afternoons with her son.

Ray D'Arcy's show has a new sponsorship deal with insurance firm AA
Ray D'Arcy's show has a new sponsorship deal with insurance firm AA

Mairead Farrell leaving Ray D'Arcy for Ian Dempsey on Today FM 

The latest JNLR figures, released last month on revealed Ray's listenership on Today FM had dropped 2,000 to 221,000 compared to the previous quarter's figures.

Ratings hikes for Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubridy in radio war 

Speaking about the move Today FM chief executive, Peter McPartlin, said: “We are disappointed to lose Ray from our great line-up of talent. I understand from Ray that at this time in his career he wishes to work on television again with the State Broadcaster.

I want to thank him for his great contribution and wish him and his family well with his new venture. We move on as a station and begin the process of establishing another great show on Today FM.”

The station's official account tweeted: "Yes, the news is true. Ray's leaving the station. We all him the best & thank for him for the laughter, tears & amazing radio. #raydarcy".

'I'm too young to start listening to Radio 1' - Twitter reacts to Ray D'Arcy leaving Today FM for RTE  

Head of RTÉ Radio 1, Tom McGuire said: “It’s great to welcome Ray D’Arcy back to RTÉ and I look forward to him being at the heart of our afternoon schedule on Radio 1.

"I know that Ray will take the torch from Liveline and it will shine brightly for our audience right through to 4.30. As a broadcaster, his programme has been one of the top performers in the country and I know that listeners to Radio 1 and Ray D’Arcy will really enjoy the latest addition to an exciting RTÉ Radio 1 schedule in 2015.”

Ray D’Arcy said: “I'm really looking forward to joining RTÉ in 2015. I'm excited about the upcoming challenges in both radio and television. To be honest, it feels a little bit like coming home.”

It is not yet known who will replace D'Arcy at Today FM.

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