English to step down from RTE's radio flagship

ROVING reporter Philip Boucher-Hayes is set to replace Rachael English as presenter of RTE radio's flagship drive-time show 'Five-Seven Live' from September.

Ms English told her team before yesterday's show that she will leave in a few months, although she is to remain with RTE Radio.

Mr Boucher-Hayes is on leave and could not be reached for comment last night.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed presenting a busy and exciting daily radio programme for RTE Radio 1 over the past six years, but I feel the time has come to try something new," Ms English said yesterday.

She said she would be working on several projects for RTE Radio in the coming year. Ms English, from Ennis in Co Clare, joined RTE as a reporter in 1991 before joining 'Five-Seven Live' in 2000.

'Five-Seven Live' remains the most popular drive-time show on radio but it has been coming under pressure from rival shows 'The Right Hook' on Newstalk 106 and 'The Last Word' on Today FM.

Five-Seven's audiences are hovering around 200,000 according to the latest JNLR figures.

When asked earlier this week about suggestions that Five Seven Live would be changing format and starting 30 minutes earlier, RTE radio's head of current affairs John McMahon said there were "no plans to change it".

Rival presenters George Hook and Matt Cooper both now start 30 minutes before Five-Seven Live, giving them a chance to snatch audience share before the RTE show even comes on air.

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