BROADCASTER Joe Duffy is back alongside his old friend Gerry Ryan – this time in the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame.
The 'Liveline' host admitted to feeling quite emotional as he placed his photograph beside that of his late RTE colleague and friend on the wall of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in Dublin.
"The most poignant thing for me is to put my picture up beside Gerry's . . . I think he'd have a great, great laugh. He'd tell me how ugly I look in the photograph and I'd tell him how suave he looks in the photograph he didn't even pose for.
"I was a little bit taken there, I didn't realise I'd be on the wall beside Gerry, as the next one in the Hall of Fame, so that made the honour all the more important to me," he said.
Mr Ryan, who died three years ago at the age of 53, was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. The industry accolade has previously been given to stars such as Gay Byrne, Marian Finucane, Jimmy Magee and Larry Gogan.
Mr Duffy was one of three leading figures in the radio industry to be chosen for the honour yesterday. He joined Bill Golding, the renowned voice-over artist and actor whose credits include 'Old Mr Brennan', 'Mister Kipling' and 'Rory' in 'Wanderly Wagon', and Liam O'Shea, one of the founding members of Newstalk and managing director of Clare FM and Tipp FM.
All three will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame during the PPI Radio Awards gala, which takes place at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny on Friday.
Reflecting on his career to date, Mr Duffy admitted he had followed a "different" path to broadcasting, having worked for five years as a probation officer – having previously been jailed for two weeks for his role in a student protest – and a social worker. He got his start in radio as a producer on 'The Gay Byrne Radio Show' in 1989.
He said he loved 'Liveline' "from the bottom of my shoes to the top of my toupee".
"I think if 'Liveline' didn't exist, especially in the last five years since the collapse, I think we'd have had to invent 'Liveline' because people just wanted to talk," he added.