Friday 19 July 2019

Ex-minister set to make waves on radio show

Ivan Yates who teams up with Claire Byrne on new radio show
Ivan Yates who teams up with Claire Byrne on new radio show

Caitrina Cody

A former government minister has done a "reverse George Lee" by leaving his political past behind for a broadcasting career.

Ivan Yates was yesterday officially unveiled as the new breakfast show presenter on Newstalk FM.

The popular bookie and former Fine Gael agriculture minister will take to the airwaves from this morning with his co-presenter Claire Byrne after the station confirmed her former breakfast show partner, Ger Gilroy, will be moved to a "senior editorial role".

Yates, who was once tipped to be a future Fine Gael leader, yesterday said he was looking forward to utilising his political skills in his new role as a broadcaster.

"I'll be bringing a view that isn't that of a journalist but one of a businessman, a former public representative and it will be informed by my time in government and in parliament," said Yates.

Yesterday's announcement confirmed weeks of speculation in the media.

Sources said leaked announcements about the move to replace Gilroy with the former politician came as shock to the presenter, who had not been informed about the move.

Newstalk management had refused to confirm rumours of Gilroy's dismissal and there was further speculation that his time with the station was at an end.

Aside from his new editorial role, Gilroy will also present a new sports show with the "Off the Ball" team -- where he made his name as a broadcaster -- which will air on Friday evenings at 7pm.

Gilroy last night said he felt it was time for a new direction. He added: "I was three years working on The Breakfast Show and, while I loved every minute of it, the change will be good for me."

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