RTE is coming under pressure about letting Ryan Tubridy swan off to the BBC for the summer hols.
The station, which pays Tubridy more than €500k a year, claims it doesn't have exclusive control over Tubridy's movements.
It emerged today that The Late Late Show host will work for the BBC during his summer holidays -- earning up to €30k for the two-month stint -- if the two parties strike an agreement.
As reported in the Herald yesterday, Tubridy looks likely to host a prime-time radio slot with the broadcaster for eight weeks.
Speculation has grown that the 37-year-old could make the move permanent if everything goes well.
A senior RTE source told the Herald today that the situation has become a running joke in Montrose.
"Here's a guy who gets a fortune every year from RTE, and we don't even own his rights," said the insider.
The €533,000-a-year presenter could follow in the footsteps of Terry Wogan and Graham Norton who are established names across the water.
It is expected Tubridy will sign a deal with the BBC at the end of this month before going over at the end of July for a run of eight Saturdays.
Ryan's bosses at RTE would have no power to stop their star man as he is a free agent for part of the summer.
His brother Garrett had jokingly revealed the talks with the BBC, saying: "Congratulations on the gig with the Beeb. If you're moving to London, can I take your car?"
In a follow-up tweet today, Garrett added: "Odds on getting my hands on his car? Think: Lotto."
Ryan admitted he is having "real" talks with the BBC over a potential move.
"It's funny. Look, it's just talk, that's all it is, a bit of talk. But I'm here and I love it and I'm really happy, and I won't be going anywhere today or tomorrow. It's talk, but it's real talk," he said.
Gay Byrne backed Tubridy to be a hit in England.
The Late Late Show legend said he thinks it is a "great move for Ryan" and a "wonderful opportunity".
See Andrew Lynch: Page 14