'I AM Anne Doyle. I am the news.' Bull Island's parody of the country's favourite newsreader had some prescience as we contemplated for the first time this week, life without Anne.
Filth-obsessed puppets Podge and Rodge are in stage one of their grief; shock and denial. (It's the way she pronounces 'sexual' that has them in a lather. As in secs-you-al). Dustin's in counselling and we'll have to call Dr Phil in for the 12 steps of recovery.
Anne Doyle is the original pioneer of girl power. Single, solvent and strong, she graced our screens for the first time when men dominated the airwaves and most convent-educated, country girls were looking for a husband to mind them.
She's no autocutie; I remember watching the Nine O'clock News on the night former minister Willie O'Dea resigned. It was one of those rare occasions when a newsreader shows what they're paid for. It was changing minute to minute, with live news after live news being thrown at her.
The questions wouldn't have been in autocue, but Anne was unflappable.
Despite her poise, Anne Doyle is self-deprecating, once referring to herself as a Unesco heritage site because she's been around so long. Newsreader Michael Murphy shared a story in his book that before co-anchoring a bulletin with Anne which included a story about mad cow disease, the pair had come up with their own list of mad cows they'd worked with. That's Anne. If she's great craic to work with, she's even better to be out with.
Please Anne, don't slide off into retirement. Tell us, even if it's not the Nine O'Clock News, that 'there'll be more after the break'.