'Lewd act' DJ to get show back after interview today
Published 25/03/2011 | 05:00
RADIO star Neil Prendeville will give an on-air interview today, just hours after UTV bosses pleaded with station staff to support the presenter after his lewd sex-act controversy.
Mr Prendeville (49) has been off air since November 3, when it was alleged that he had exposed himself and then masturbated on an Aer Lingus flight from London to Cork on October 19.
He is due to return to his presenting role on Monday but he will be back on the air today when he gives an interview to the colleague who stepped in to host his show.
The father-of-two insisted he had no recollection of what happened on the plane after he had consumed a cocktail of painkillers and alcohol.
He later vehemently denied that he had taken illegal drugs -- and even offered to undergo a drugs test. Mr Prendeville also said he had been left feeling suicidal over the controversy.
Yesterday afternoon, UTV bosses called a meeting of all 96 FM staff in Cork to confirm that Mr Prendeville will return to the airwaves on Monday.
Radio boss Kieran McGeary urged staff to support Mr Prendeville's return as he had been "an integral part of the station for years". They were told Mr Prenderville had "suffered enough" and that it was now time to focus on the future.
Station officials also stressed that the €150,000 a year broadcaster has not been on paid leave since last November.
One station source said some staff members now expected Mr Prendeville to apologise personally to workmates.
96 FM officials and Mr Prendeville were unavailable for comment last night. However, it is understood that he will return to his flagship morning show on a new contract. Over recent months, the show has been successfully presented by radio reporter PJ Coogan.
Mr Prendeville is due to give an interview this morning to Mr Coogan to outline the impact on him of events over the past five months.
Legal problems over the precise jurisdiction involved in the alleged incident mean that there will be no further action by investigating gardai.