Big BBC break for Tubridy as he struggles with home crowd
HE might be floundering on 2fm but Ryan Tubridy will present the highest-rated breakfast show on UK radio over the summer.
The 37-year-old is to cover for Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2's breakfast programme "for weeks" during the summer.
With a weekly audience of 10 million, it is the slot fellow Irishman Terry Wogan occupied before he retired.
Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 2, Lewis Carnie, is understood to have been impressed with Mr Tubridy's stand-in work for Graham Norton on his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 last summer.
Now 'The Late, Late Show' host has secured an even more prominent slot on weekdays during the summer.
He will fill in for a week at a time at different points over the summer, making his debut in the 6.30-9.30am slot this Monday when he covers for Mr Evans over the bank holiday.
The RTE presenter will continue his morning 'Tubridy' programme on 2fm over the summer. However, it is understood he will take unpaid leave from RTE to do the weeks in the BBC.
Mr Tubridy has consistently denied that he hopes to move to the BBC on a full-time basis, but the latest figures released yesterday show that his morning show has lost another 4,000 listeners.
The latest loss comes despite a major overhaul of the programme last year which saw a new producer brought onboard and the ditching of the paper review slot, which had been a staple of 'The Gerry Ryan Show'.
Mr Tubridy stepped into the shoes of the late Mr Ryan in 2010. He now has an audience of just 172,000 listeners, down on the 300,000 who tuned into Mr Ryan's show.
RTE insiders are questioning whether or not he is the right 'fit' for the station after he left Radio 1.
"Is 2fm the right station for Ryan Tubridy? If the public didn't like Ryan why would 'The Late, Late Show' have a 48pc (audience) share on a Friday night?" a well-placed source put it to the Irish Independent.
"He has a great producer and a great team but 2fm is the wrong station for him. He is definitely more suited to RTE Radio 1.
"The whole station (2fm) needs to be rebuilt. If you tune into Lyric FM, Spin or Newstalk you know what you're going to get.
"That's not the case with 2fm which is suffering an identity crisis. There has been all sorts of chops and changes but none of it's strategic. It's a rudderless ship and they have never got back the listeners they lost after Gerry Ryan died."