'George Hook congratulated me and said he was delighted and was lovely about it' - Dr Ciara Kelly on taking over Newstalk slot
DOCTOR Ciara Kelly is stepping down as a GP in order to devote all her attention to her new Newstalk gig – and says George Hook has already been in touch to congratulate her.
The well-known broadcaster and Operation Transformation expert has been chosen to fill Hook’s prime-time noon slot on the station.
Her show, called Lunchtime Live, starts next Monday, but means she has had to quit her practice in Greystones.
“I’m standing down from being a general practitioner,” she told the Herald.
“I’ve been a doctor for 20 years and I’ve loved it, but I’ve been doing more and more media work and it got to the stage where I was almost full-time in both, which has been unsustainable really.
“I don’t want to do either badly and then this opportunity came up and thought I’d really regret turning this down and not taking it up,” she added.
She said Hook has already texted her in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement.
“I have heard from him. He congratulated me and said he was delighted and was lovely about it,” she said.
“For years, he used to say that I was his natural heir, I supposed because both of us would speak our minds.”
However, she added she’s no George Hook.
“I’m very different. I would have a very political set of opinions but I would also want to be able to be the unfiltered version of myself and say what I think,” she said.
Asked if she felt getting the coveted slot was a move in the right direction in terms of addressing gender imbalance, she said: “I certainly hope so.
“I think having a woman on air on prime-time, commercial radio is a really positive thing.
“It’s great to have a female voice on-air and on that slot in particular I think it will work quite well.
“It’s not a commuter slot per se. It’s people working from home or collecting their kids.
“As a woman, you will get my perspective and that would naturally be different from that of someone like Ivan Yates.
“I have four kids, I’m a working mum and I’ve been there and done that.”
She will also be back on RTE’s Operation Transformation when it returns in January.