| 11.6°C Dublin

Kenny rules out a return to RTÉ to replace O'Rourke

Close

Pat Kenny  Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Pat Kenny Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Pat Kenny Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Broadcaster Pat Kenny has ruled out returning to RTÉ following the retirement of his successor Sean O'Rourke.

The former RTÉ veteran handed over the microphone to O'Rourke when he left RTÉ's flagship mid-morning current affairs show in 2013 after 41 years with the State broadcaster in order to host his own current affairs show on rival Newstalk.

O'Rourke (64) was already a familiar voice on the airwaves, hosting RTÉ Radio One's flagship news show 'The News at One' before he was offered the job as Kenny's replacement as the host of 'Today with Sean O'Rourke'.

O'Rourke announced at the end of his show on Tuesday that he would be retiring on May 8, prompting widespread speculation as to who might be filling his shoes.

"For nearly seven years now it's been my great privilege to sit in the best current affairs chair in Irish broadcasting. But nothing is forever," he announced to listeners.

"I'm going to be 65 in May. And that'll be as good a time as any to end the great adventure of Today SOR. I've had an absolute ball."

However, speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Kenny poured cold water on any speculation that he might be lured back to RTÉ.

"That door closed a long time ago," he said.

However, he said he wished O'Rourke the best in his upcoming retirement and said he was looking forward to playing rounds of golf with his old friend and colleague when the courses open up again.

While he is on air during this three-hour slot and not able to listen to 'Today' live, Kenny said O'Rourke's shoes won't be easy to fill.

"I used to hear Sean on the 'News at One' and I'm very familiar with his sharp political interrogations," he said.

"But as a listener I never got to hear him because I'm on at the same time."

As for who might succeed O'Rourke, Kenny added: "The smart money is on Claire Byrne or Miriam [O'Callaghan]."

But whoever does succeed him, Kenny said he believed they would put their own unique stamp on the show.

Irish Independent