Sean O'Rourke looks in agony as he hobbles across the footbridge over Dublin's Grand Canal. The 64-year-old has just announced he will retire from Radio 1's Today show next month but who could have expected age would already have caught him so brutally.
As it turns out, it's merely a twisted ankle he picked up while powering up Killiney Hill. Still sprightly, then. And sharp as ever. So what's behind his decision to quit in his prime?
Other RTE staff were forced to retire at 65 and two successfully sued, so was he also pushed?
"Was I pushed?" O'Rourke repeats. "That would be a simplistic and inaccurate way to put it.
"We all knew I was heading for 65 and I was clear in my mind I wanted to do just one thing: stay broadcasting. I was less clear about how badly I wanted to stay doing daily radio - because of the demands."
"Straight-talking" discussions between O'Rourke and the station started in November.
"RTE are in a situation where they are under serious financial pressure and they have to deal with an employment law, which is less than ideal about employment age and pension entitlements," O'Rourke says.
"So there was back and forth as to how we deal with this and then the Anne Roper decision happened."
The former TV producer successfully sued the station for €100,000 when it obliged her to retire at 65.
When RTE decided they were going to appeal, O'Rourke thought he needed to take a different approach as an appeal could take years. "And meanwhile what would I do?"
He didn't want to follow Roper to court. "Legal actions are expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining. So I just said 'look can we work something out?' I understood the dilemma they were in. They are strapped for cash and, [although] people are in the whole of their health and whole of their ability, there isn't room for everybody."
His words are gracious but given this age of political correctness gone mad, surely the one group not being defended are the over-65s who are forced to retire because of age?
O'Rourke agrees that there needs to be clear legislation which gives people the right to stay on if they wish.
"And I would have happily exercised the right, if that had existed legally, to stay in RTE. But I could not have insisted that I stay presenting the Today show."
He believes "the law is ageist" and "outdated" and "needs reform". He also says it leaves RTE in "an invidious position".
There are rumours the talks turned despondent at times. Did it get that bad?
"What matters is the destination not the journey," he says. "All's well that ends well."
As the months went on, O'Rourke says he had to get to a point where he was prepared to settle for a different mix.
"That was the lonely part. Coming to a decision about what I wanted to do. I talked a lot to [my wife] Caroline who is a great friend, adviser and confident, and I just had to be practical. It was business, as much as anything else."
Did he leave with a big pay-off and fat pension then? He baulks: "I wish!"
As to the future, he says: "I expect to broadcast again with RTE."
The station confirmed this weekend that they are in "further discussions" with the star.
It would be surprising if they weren't. Over 30 years, O'Rourke has become one of the heavyweights of Irish broadcasting. Glowing tributes have poured in this weekend (texts from Ronan O'Gara, a letter from the President) but talk of his "kindness" is a far cry from his early days in RTE when the then head of news, Joe Mulholland, told him: "You wouldn't exactly be known as the Henry Kissinger of the newsroom." "I was seen as a little brusque," says O' Rourke. "I've mellowed with the years."
There have, of course, been moments of colour - when he gave the "shirt off my back" to Gerry Adams after the former Sinn Fein leader arrived to appear on camera wearing a strobed shirt, and his many dealings with the late Charlie Haughey.
"Haughey's trick was to arrive early to upstage the suits. In those days the director general (DG) would meet the Taoiseach when he arrived and I remember Vincent Finn was DG, and another Vincent [Scally] had the job to pour the drinks and look after hospitality.
"So Haughey sweeps in and ignores Vincent Finn and makes a great big fuss over Vincent Scally. After a while he turns to the DG [incredulously] and says 'Ah Jesus, Finn, are you still here? I thought you were dead."
Despite having conducted thousands of interviews, O'Rourke admits to still having a knot in his stomach before big one-to-ones. He was most wary of Haughey as a guest, along with Brian Cowen and Pat Rabbitte. "You might realise afterwards that there was something hot, red and sticky oozing from your shirt and they had knifed you. To borrow Noonan's phrase, while quoting Shakespeare 'they would slit your throat in church and laugh on the way out'."
He recalls another occasion, as editor of This Week, when the then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds's government had fallen apart and Labour had walked out. "John Bruton did an interview with us and said very offensive things about the then Attorney General Eoghan Fitzsimons who immediately rang to say he had been seriously libelled."
There was a frantic scramble of calls and later a visibly agitated Bruton emerged from the studio having just thrown Labour off course, having attempted to scupper their emerging deal with Fianna Fail's new leader Bertie Ahern.
O'Rourke describes how he was met by the ashen-faced Mulholland. "Jesus John! The next thing we'll have to have is Section 31 for Fine Gael!" Five days later Bruton was Taoiseach.
Fast forward to the biggest gig of his career which landed when Pat Kenny was poached to rival Newstalk. But when it eventually came to finding his replacement on the Today Show, even O'Rourke wasn't backing O'Rourke.
"I was 40-1 in Paddy Power and I was so miffed at the crappy odds that I was too angry to put down a bet."
He was on a golf tee when he got the call that the job was his. He plans to frame the tabloid splash that predicted he would lose 100,000 listeners. "In the end we took the audiences to places it had never been before - high," he says. "I remember sharing the [figures] with Noel [Curran] and he said 'this is brilliant because you are up against Pat Kenny. And he wasn't. Yet you are still doing the same numbers."
Even in the sunshine today, O'Rourke looks proud to have proven the doomsayers wrong.
"Going for me was a gamble but you know what? The numbers don't lie... I heard from sources that Newstalk had a strategy to peel away our listeners by 10,000 per quarter, 40,000 a year, and it didn't happen. And I'm tremendously chuffed about that."
Before leaving, he reaches into his old wine leather briefcase and hands me his business card. It's a picture of the now US President Donald Trump on the front page of the Sunday Independent LIFE magazine. With his infamous words following his interview with the presenter written in blood red: "Sean O'Rourke is an Asshole."
He smiles at that. There's life in the old dog yet.
Maria Bailey - The car-crash interview spawned memes and comical edits of Bailey saying 'Sean' over and over as she scrambled for answers. O'Rourke said he took "no pleasure" in the job and Bailey "knew in advance we had to ask straight questions".
Graham Turley - The country stopped to listen to Veronica Guerin's widower's heartbreaking first interview with O'Rourke, in which he explained the torture of telling son Cathal about his mother's death.
Donald Trump - "Sean O'Rourke! That asshole from the radio show!" Trump bellowed in an interview with Will Hanafin for the Sunday Independent's LIFE magazine. His gripe? "He asked about my hair. He took off my hair! This is my hair! It was a nasty interview."
Every great interviewer needs an unsanctioned doorstep. O'Rourke managed it with FW de Klerk when he got a walking interview with the last president of South Africa's apartheid era in a shopping mall, before de Klerk's heavies pulled him away.