Seán O'Rourke's announcement he would hang up his headphones after more than 25 years with RTÉ came as a bolt from the blue to his Radio One listeners.
Up to that point, it had just been another quiet Tuesday in lockdown.
But within RTÉ, his exit strategy had been carefully planned for weeks as one of its most eminent broadcasters called time on his lengthy career on the airwaves at a moment of his choosing.
With his departure from RTÉ coming on Friday, May 8, shortly before his 65th birthday, speculation has naturally turned to his successor. Two names have already emerged as the front-runners in media circles, namely Miriam O'Callaghan and Claire Byrne.
'Prime Time' presenter O'Callaghan has been filling in for him on a more regular basis of late, most memorably for a six-week stretch last summer.
Also considered a strong contender and a 'safe pair of hands' is her RTÉ colleague Byrne. Both are equally adept on radio as they are on TV and have consistently maintained strong listenership for their weekend RTÉ One shows.
An RTÉ spokesperson has declined to comment on a possible replacement.
Under his RTÉ contract, O'Rourke is required to retire when he turns 65 next month, but there has been significant controversy surrounding this clause.
Last January, the Workplace Relations Commission ruled that RTÉ had discriminated against former TV producer Anne Roper when it obliged her to retire at that age.
She was subsequently awarded €100,000 in compensation, although RTÉ is appealing the decision.
It is understood O'Rourke is leaving his daily radio programme on "very good terms" and is in advanced talks about other projects with the broadcaster.
While he will no longer be directly employed by RTÉ, sources said he would be back on air in the future.
The Portlaoise native is expected to lecture occasionally at NUIG, where he is an honorary professor in the university's school of journalism.
He is a keen fan of travelling with his wife Caroline, with whom he has six children. He is also a keen golfer.
When asked about the speculation surrounding her being the front-runner to step into the vacated slot, O'Callaghan declined to comment.
Paying tribute to O'Rourke, she told the Irish Independent he remained "the most brilliant political interviewer in the country".
"He was also equally comfortable interviewing on all other subjects and of course, you could hear his eyes light up when he talked about his beloved sport. I absolutely loved listening to him and rarely missed the show. It rarely disappoints."
She cited his interview with former Fine Gael politician Maria Bailey as one of his career high points, and said he would be "hugely missed on the radio".
"No one will be able to replace him as he is a unique broadcaster.
"On a personal level, I will miss him greatly as he was always so kind and generous and caring towards me," she said.
O'Rourke started with RTÉ in 1983 and left for a period before returning in 1989, when he built up a reputation as a tenacious and thorough journalist and broadcaster.
As adept at TV as radio, he previously fronted 'The Week in Politics' and the flagship lunchtime show 'News at One' before taking over the morning show in 2013 when Pat Kenny left for Newstalk.
Hugely popular with listeners and within the organisation, he made the shock announcement at the end of his show yesterday in his usual under-stated fashion with a pre-recorded statement, saying that he had had "an absolute blast".
He had built up his listenership to a high of 354,000, making it the third most-listened-to show in the country.
O'Rourke told listeners that it had been "my great privilege to sit in the best current affairs chair in Irish broadcasting. But nothing is forever".
"I'm going to be 65 in May and that will be as good a moment as any to end the great adventure of 'Today SOR'," he said.
He cited his "memorable encounter" with Donald Trump as a moment to remember and also thanked his "hard-working and talented colleagues" who work on his show.
Tributes have been pouring in to O'Rourke from far and wide, with Ryan Tubridy saying RTÉ was "down a good one" with his impending departure next month.
"He is one of those people who are a pleasure to meet crossing the car park in the morning on the way into the office and having the chat about what's happening behind the scenes, whether it's Leinster House or RTÉ," he told the Irish Independent.
"He's got a wise head on his shoulders and he's got a great breadth of knowledge. He can tell you the count of an election from Ballaghaderreen in 1981 without having to google anything.
"We will miss that sense of intellectual hard-drive in the place, because there aren't many like him around.
"So on a personal and a professional level, I want to wish him the very best because his family's gain in the back-garden is our family's loss in the Radio Centre. He's just a great, great guy."
Claire Byrne said that he is the "journalist and broadcaster we all want to be - tenacious, knowledgeable and fearless. Above all of that, he's a thoroughly decent man and I wish him all the best for the many years ahead".