Ray D'Arcy leaves Today FM to return to RTE
Ray D'Arcy is leaving Today FM after 14 years - to return to RTE.
The 50-year-old radio presenter has helmed the hugely successful Ray D'Arcy Show on weekday mornings on Today FM since 2000.
RTE has confirmed Ray will work across both radio and television at RTE and will fill Derek Mooney's afternoon slot on RTE Radio 1.
Mooney will quit his show, which airs daily from 3pm to 4.30pm, from January to take up a new role as 'wildlife executive' across RTE television and radio.
Ray will be making the move from mornings to afternoons as The Ray D'Arcy Show airs 9am to 12 noon.
Today FM has confirmed that the broadcaster has left the station with immediate effect - meaning he will not be on air tomorrow.
D'Arcy left the state broadcaster to helm his own radio show at Today FM in 2000, having spent 13 years presenting mainly children's TV programmes at RTE.
These included Jo Maxi, Blackboard Jungle, 2Phat and The Den, the children's afternoon show he took over from Ian Dempsey and presented for eight years.
Ray's wife Jenny Kelly left her job as producer on The Ray D'Arcy Show in June this year after almost 14 years working alongside her husband.
Jenny cited the desire to spend more time with her children as her reason for leaving.
Similarly, long-time co-producer and presenter Mairead Farrell also left The Ray D'Arcy Show in September to take up a role as producer on the earlier Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, which would allow her to spend more time in the afternoons with her son.
The latest JNLR figures, released last month on revealed Ray's listenership on Today FM had dropped 2,000 to 221,000 compared to the previous quarter's figures.
Speaking about the move Today FM chief executive, Peter McPartlin, said: “We are disappointed to lose Ray from our great line-up of talent. I understand from Ray that at this time in his career he wishes to work on television again with the State Broadcaster.
I want to thank him for his great contribution and wish him and his family well with his new venture. We move on as a station and begin the process of establishing another great show on Today FM.”
The station's official account tweeted: "Yes, the news is true. Ray's leaving the station. We all him the best & thank for him for the laughter, tears & amazing radio. #raydarcy".
Head of RTÉ Radio 1, Tom McGuire said: “It’s great to welcome Ray D’Arcy back to RTÉ and I look forward to him being at the heart of our afternoon schedule on Radio 1.
"I know that Ray will take the torch from Liveline and it will shine brightly for our audience right through to 4.30. As a broadcaster, his programme has been one of the top performers in the country and I know that listeners to Radio 1 and Ray D’Arcy will really enjoy the latest addition to an exciting RTÉ Radio 1 schedule in 2015.”
Ray D’Arcy said: “I'm really looking forward to joining RTÉ in 2015. I'm excited about the upcoming challenges in both radio and television. To be honest, it feels a little bit like coming home.”
It is not yet known who will replace D'Arcy at Today FM.