Ryans 'will not pick on-air successor'

Lorna Nolan

RTE have insisted that the final decision regarding 2fm's replacement for Gerry Ryan will rest with station bosses and not the star's family.

A representative for the national broadcaster told the Herald that reports of Gerry's estranged wife Morah and five children Lottie, Rex, Bonnie, Elliot and Babette being involved in the panel who chose Lucy Kennedy and Colm Hayes to step into his shoes for the next four weeks have been exaggerated.

They explained how the grief-stricken family will be consulted 'as a courtesy' when they begin discussing ideas for a new presenter later this week, however they will not have any further input than this.

The airtime is currently worth €6m per year in revenue to the state broadcaster.

"The family were informed as a courtesy about Lucy and Colm but that is all," a spokesperson told the Herald. "There was no consultation as it seems to be portrayed."

The first Colm and Lucy Show aired for the first time this morning and will be produced by the current Gerry Ryan Show production team.

Colm Hayes will temporarily split from his current radio partner, Jim Nugent for the run.

Among the names being mooted as a permanent fixture in the morning slot are Evelyn O'Rourke, Fiona Looney -- who has been described as the late broadcaster's 'on-air wife' -- along with Ryan Tubridy and Dave Fanning.

Today FM's Ray D'Arcy and former 2fm star Ian Dempsey are also said to be in line to take over Ryan's old slot.