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Today to yesterday, as Ray goes back to roots

IT is 26 years since Ray D'Arcy burst on to our screens as a presenter on RTE's Jo Maxi in 1988.

The Kildare native cut his teeth exploring teen issues on the show that also showed music videos and had features on topics such as Dublin's skateboarding scene in the Eighties.

Two years later he replaced Ian Dempsey as the host on the Den, joining Zig and Zag and Dustin the Turkey.

D'Arcy (50) presented Ireland's premier children's show until 1999. He clocked up 13 years at RTE, where he helmed shows such as teen quiz Blackboard Jungle.

In 2000, the dad of two made the move to Today FM where he was given his own morning show, though he returned to RTE to present the Rose of Tralee annual ceremony from 2005 until 2009.

D'Arcy and his on air colleagues, including Mairead Farrell, proved popular with Today FM listeners with a mix of slots such as Fix It Friday and human interest stories.

It was on the Today FM show that Ray met his wife Jenny Kelly. The pair were married last year and have two children, Kate (7) and two-year-old Tom.

Jenny had been with the show as a producer from the start and often featured on air along with Farrell and the show's other producer Will Hanafin.

The Ray D'Arcy Show pulled an audience of as much as 250,000 listeners at times.