| -1.2°C Dublin

Debt-troubled Yates quits his Newstalk job

IVAN YATES has refused to confirm whether he is planning to declare himself bankrupt in the UK after quitting his Newstalk job.

The former minister and bookmaker confirmed live on air this morning that he was quitting the station: "Yes it's true that I have decided to opt out of current commitments."

Mr Yates is expected to relocate to the UK, where he can have himself declared bankrupt as he battles with AIB over €3.6m in debt following the collapse of his company Celtic Bookmakers in January 2011.

The presenter told listeners: "It's important not to be part of the story in the media."

It is believed he will leave the station on Good Friday - April 6. A station source told the Herald: "Yates hasn't actually had a contract with Newstalk since last year because he has known this was hanging over him.

"That more or less meant that he could walk at any time. Nobody is quite sure about the future of the show. Shane Coleman looks set to fill in for the foreseeable future, but bosses will be keen to get another big name on board."

Yates has enjoyed success with Newstalk Breakfast, which he co-hosts with Chris Donoghue. It is the station's top -rated programme with 135,000 listeners a day.


A source said: "There were management meetings up until 5pm on Tuesday in the offices.

"I don't know why management is so surprised that he is leaving. It has been coming for months."

The former Fine Gael minister has always disputed the level of his debt to the bank, claiming it amounts to €3.4m rather than €3.6m.