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D'Arcy reveals truth about Gerry show offer

TODAY FM's Ray D'Arcy has broken his silence on being offered a lucrative contract with RTE Radio in the wake of Gerry Ryan's passing.

Speaking for the first time about being head-hunted last year, the popular presenter (46) insists that RTE did not directly offer him the late broadcaster's previous slot.

"I was approached by RTE alright, but no specific time slot was mentioned," he told the Herald. "What has happened in the press, and I don't deal with the press, but somebody in here [Today FM] said that I was actually offered that slot and I wasn't.

"They spoke to me a number of times, but no slot was mentioned."

D'Arcy, who has been with Today FM since 2000, said he turned the offer down as he wanted to remain true to his listeners and he was very content with his existing station.

"I am very lucky where I am. Today FM is a very small organisation. We are very much allowed to do what we want," he explained. "The show wouldn't be what it is today if we had started in RTE 10-and-a-half years ago.

"We're allowed a lot of leeway and slack, which means we can go off and do our own thing. We're not held back by a large organisation," he said.

"When we say, 'we want to go off and do a broadcast from a boat', people here clap their hands and say, 'Yes, let's do it'. People get excited.

"When I was offered it [the job], I was happy here, it was leaving something I had worked at really hard for 10 years and going to something that wasn't certain.

"I felt I would have been disloyal to listeners. I really felt that -- that's not a load of w**k. People have been with us from day one, they're very loyal to us. They've been loyal to me; I should be loyal back."

He also commented on the controversy over Ronan Keating's appearance on last Friday's Late Late Show, which sparked claims that the Boyzone star was given an easy ride by the presenter.

He then told Ray's Today FM colleague Ian Dempsey how he had discussed the interview with Tubridy beforehand and thanked him for being a good "friend", claims which are denied by the broadcaster.

Ray said: "I saw it and I think it was more about the selling of it [the interview] beforehand. I read that it was going to be all Yvonne and Ronan, and if you sell something like that and you don't deliver on the night, well that's a problem. And that's probably nothing to do with Ryan."