Friday 24 March 2017

Tubridy and Hector in leap of faith for revamped 2fm

Hector O hEochagain leaps over his new 2fm colleague Ryan Tubridy
Hector O hEochagain leaps over his new 2fm colleague Ryan Tubridy
Gay Byrne with Miriam O'Callaghan and Marty Whelan
Many of RTE's radio presenters at the launch of the broadcaster's autumn schedule in Montrose yesterday

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter

RTE chiefs are hoping Ryan Tubridy and Hector O hEochagain can help restore the fortunes of 2fm.

Tubridy will replace the late Gerry Ryan from next Monday, while O hEochagain will host 2fm's new breakfast show live from Galway each weekday.

RTE launched a largely predictable line-up of old faces for its autumn radio schedule but that didn't stop Tubridy claiming the new slots showed 2fm was making a "big statement" about its direction.

Tubridy acknowledged his own big move to the flagship show on 2fm came only as a result of the death of his friend Gerry Ryan last April.

"I didn't want to be here under these circumstances but I am and have to accept the situation at hand. It's deeply emotional but I also have to do a job. I wonder a lot about Gerry and this programme and what he would think about it," he said.

However, while revealing he would acknowledge Gerry Ryan, who previously occupied the same slot on 2fm, during his first show, Tubridy said his new programme would not be a tribute programme.

Unseemly

"It would be an unseemly omission not to mention Gerry, but we won't go on about it. Lots of tears have been cried and a lot of sadness has occurred, but now is the time to celebrate the past but also get on with the show.

"I think Gerry would appreciate that," added Tubridy.

Tubridy revealed he would have several of Ryan's production staff working on his new show, including his producer-in-charge Alice O'Sullivan.

Filling the last hour of what had been the 'Gerry Ryan Show', from 12-1pm on 2fm weekdays, will be former breakfast show presenter Colm Hayes -- but he will be doing so without co-host Jim Jim Nugent, who has resigned from RTE.

Arriving back from a foreign holiday, Hayes said he had not yet spoken to Nugent but stressed they remained friends.

"Jim is on to pastures new. I'm not exactly sure where at the moment. I haven't spoken to him because I have been away the last couple of weeks.

"There's no hard feeling, we are still mates. I was with Jim since 2001, but radio evolves all the time and you have to take on new challenges. Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut," said Hayes, who added it was possible he would work with Nugent again in the future.

O hEochagain, who will present the station's new breakfast show, welcomed RTE's decision to produce the show in Galway.

Alienating

"It will really give a slant on what's going on down the country, but we won't be alienating the Dublin people either. Just having the craic with them," he said.

"Ryan Tubridy did the breakfast show before and he warned me how wrecked you are from getting up early. He said, 'Once the Nine O'Clock News is over, you won't even get the weather, you'll be so tired, but I'm ready'.

Other familiar faces at Montrose yesterday were Joe Duffy, Miriam O'Callaghan and former 'Business Show' presenter John Murray, who will take over Tubridy's former morning slot on the station.

Describing his new programme, which will air at 9am each weekday morning, the 46-year-old said: "My background is on 'Morning Ireland' doing news of the day and current affairs, and 'The Business', which was more satirical. The new programme will contain elements of both shows and hopefully voices from different parts of Ireland.

"At least two of my production team worked on Ryan's Tubridy's programme, but all of them are very talented people. I'm confident we will have success."

Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne will again host a Sunday afternoon music programme on Lyric FM this autumn.

And Irish Independent journalist Edel Coffey is also part of the new line-up, presenting a new monthly arts show 'Splinters' on digital station 2XFM.

Irish Independent

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