CONTROVERSIAL talk show presenter Neil Prendeville has quit his job at Cork 96fm for a big money move at Red FM.
The radio presenter shot to notoriety four years ago following a humiliating episode when he exposed himself and masturbated on board an Aer Lingus flight.
Staff at the Cork radio station were informed by email at close of business yesterday evening that Mr Prendeville would no longer be working with them.
They were told that contract discussions which had been ongoing had “failed to reach agreement” and that he was leaving.
Sources last night said Mr Prendeville had not been asked to work out any notice and that fellow dj, PJ Coogan - who had filled in for the outspoken host on previous occasions while he was on holidays - has been drafted in as a temporary replacement for the popular morning show which averages around 100,000 listeners.
CEO of Cork 96FM, Kieran McGeary is currently away on holidays.
Speculation mounted last night that Mr Prendeville may be considering a career move to television with UTV setting up a new station next year.
Rival Cork radio station, Red FM, tweeted that Mr Prendeville was making the switch to it.
Radio DJ KC who is also joining Red FM from national station Today FM tweeted this evening: "Neil Prendeville to leave @Corks96FM and join @CorksRedFM I'm really looking forward to this. We start on March 31"
It is understood that Mr Prendeville had taken “a massive cut” in his salary following his high-profile incident in 2010 when he was witnessed masturbating on board a flight.
Mr Prendeville afterwards explained that he had consumed painkillers and alcohol throughout the day before boarding the flight and said he remembered nothing of the events.
After being off air for some time afterwards, he wept during an apology to his listeners on his return and explained that alcohol had been the root of the situation.
At that time, Mr Prendeville said he had been punished enough - though admitted not everyone would agree - and said that “humanity took a backseat” in the tabloid coverage of the allegations and their focus on his family.
He claimed his children had been targeted by journalists.
Asked how he would have covered that story if it had happened to somebody else, Mr Prendeville said he would treat it differently than he would have and would not persecute that person's family, whatever about hounding the individual.
“All I can do is apologise and ask for a chance,” he said then, adding that he had become a more reflective person with a different outlook on life in the wake of the controversy.
Mr Prendeville's former colleague PJ Coogan told the Irish Independent that he was “shocked and surprised” at Mr Prendeville's departure, saying they had been “colleagues for 25 years and friends for longer.”
“I wish him every success in whatever venture he goes for,” he said, adding that he was not in a position to comment any further on the incident.
Efforts to contact Mr Prendeville were unsuccessful