Thousands tune in to emotional 'Final Ryan Line'
RTE presenter Evelyn O'Rourke wept yesterday when she co-hosted a final radio tribute to broadcaster Gerry Ryan.
Thousands tuned in to hear the programme, dubbed as the 'Final Ryan Line', just days after a TV documentary on the life of the popular media personality drew an estimated audience of 671,900 to RTE1.
"I'm just glad it got such a good reaction from his listeners. It was very hard to do so many hours of broadcasting justice. There were a few tears in my own eyes at the end there, too," said Ms O'Rourke, commenting on Twitter last night.
Opening the programme, Ms O'Rourke was quick to dismiss press speculation that either Ryan, or any of his team, had taken drugs while working on his radio show.
"We enjoyed every minute of our time on the air with Gerry and despite what you might have read in some papers, the highs and lows we shared on the show were all entirely natural and legal," said Ms O'Rourke.
She added that she and her radio colleagues were as shocked as the public to learn from the findings of an inquest that Ryan's death had been triggered by his use of cocaine.
Co-presenter Brenda Donoghue added: "With all there has been written and talked about recently, it's easy to forget the man behind the mike. So this morning we are going to concentrate on Gerry's broadcasting legacy."
What followed was a programme which celebrated the highlights of the 'Gerry Ryan Show's' 22 years on RTE Radio.
Being the 'Gerry Ryan Show', it covered subjects as diverse as brain surgery to his moving interview with teenage rape victim Lavinia Kerwick in 1992.