'I miss the RTE studio and would consider new roles' – Bill O'Herlihy in one of his final interviews
Published 25/05/2015 | 12:38
In one of his final interviews, veteran broadcaster Bill O'Herlihy admitted that he missed the RTE soccer panel and said he would be open to other media opportunities.
The Cork native passed away peacefully at home this morning and tributes have been pouring in for the hugely popular presenter.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, O'Herlihy presented ten World Cups for RTÉ, including Brazil 2014, and ten Olympics Games. Bill also presented the first Rugby World Cup on RTÉ television as well as co-presenting the very first Sunday Game with Jim Carney in 1979.
Speaking two weeks ago on The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork's Red FM, the 76-year-old admitted that he has missed his role as the anchor on RTE's football coverage.
"I had a great time, I had a terrific experience," he told the show. "I enjoyed it immensely."
"There is a certain amount of regret I'm not in the studio.
"I miss it, but I don't I don't miss it in a sense that I made a mistake or anything like that."
O'Herlihy paid tribute to the "extremely good editors" he worked with down through the years and said that the real work on the highly successful show was done behind the scenes, making his job easy.
"I never really felt any real pressure as because there was so much work done in advance and I think that showed in the response from viewers."
O'Herlihy's style of broadcasting, facilitating detailed and often heated discussion involving John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady, won many admirers and he revealed that he based it off two esteemed peers.
"The people I admired the most were Gaybo [Gay Byrne] and Michael Parkinson because they always listened. They had a rapport with their guests and developed discussion in a way that a lot of others didn't do.
"I said that's the line I'm going to take when I went into soccer and developed that over the years."
O'Herlihy said that while he has done "various things" on television since his retirement last summer, he hasn't been approached by any other media outlets, joking that this Cork accent may have cost him job opportunities.
"Nobody has ever come calling and I often wondered why," he told listeners.
"I have never once been approached by anybody and I said to myself that must be for two reasons. First of all that I am considered a very RTE person, and the second thing is that I have a Cork accent that wouldn't translate to any foreign station."
Poignantly, the broadcaster said that he would consider any roles in the future if they piqued his interest.
"I don't regard myself as being on the scrapheap. If someone came looking for me I'd consider it, but I've reached an advanced age and I want to relax."