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Louise Duffy to replace Ronan Collins on RTÉ Radio 1 as DJ vows to leave ‘on a high’

Louise Duffy ready to step into lunchtime music slot on RTÉ Radio 1 as Ronan Collins steps down from show after 43 years

Former Today FM presenter Louise Duffy is taking up the lunchtime music slot at RTÉ Radio One. Photo: David Conachy© David Conachy

Liam CollinsIndependent.ie

Louise Duffy will present a new music show from January on RTÉ Radio 1 in the slot formerly held by The Ronan Collins Show.

It comes after Collins revealed that he was stepping down from the show after 43 years.

“I am 70 this year and although age has nothing to do with it, it has made me realise how long I have been doing this,” the lunchtime RTÉ radio presenter told Independent.ie. “There are so many other things that I want to do.”

Duffy, who previously worked at Today FM, has recently been heard on RTÉ Radio 1 filling in onLate Date, Rising Time, and The Ronan Collins Show.

She will also be familiar to television audiences, most recently as the presenter of RTÉ’s eight-part music seriesThe Ballycotton Sessions.

She said: “I am honoured to be given the opportunity to host the biggest music radio show in Ireland, and follow in the footsteps of a great broadcaster like Ronan Collins. I look forward to connecting with music lovers all over the country, discovering new talent, and complementing the line-up of great broadcasters at RTÉ Radio 1.”

Peter Woods, head of RTÉ Radio 1, added: “Louise Duffy knows her music. We’re delighted to have her on this station. Louise is the first woman to present the lunchtime music programme on RTÉ Radio 1 – the number one music programme in the country. She will bring to it integrity, both as a presenter and with her musical choices.”

Earlier yesterday, Collins told Independent.ie how he would be presenting his last programme on December 23.

“But heading into the new year I will be continuing with the Collins Collection on bank holidays and I am looking at other projects within RTÉ” Collins said.

“I am very anxious that people know I am not retiring. Old DJs never retire, they just fade away.”

“I have been pondering this move since last June”, said Collins, who as a drummer played with Dickie Rock and is still performing on stage regularly with his own band. “I decided it was time to make a change and I have instituted it. I’m not being forced out.” “Working on radio has been fantastic and I am still full of enthusiasm ... but really, I want to go out on a high myself.” After a health scare last year, from which he has fully recovered, Collins said he reassessed his life.

“Looking back on 43 years and seven months I decided I don’t have another 43 years left, or maybe even another 10 years, and there are so many things I want to do,” he said.

He also saw listenership figures soar by 40,000 during the pandemic and said it was a “great boost” to know that the “powers that be” wanted him to continue doing the lunch time slot from noon until 1pm.

“I never mentioned the word Covid once during the pandemic, but we did play a ‘lockdown loosener upper’ which went down a bomb with the listeners, they wanted some light relief and we gave it to them on the programme” Collins said.

Collins began his career as a radio DJ with the opening of RTÉ Radio 2 in 1973.

He later presented the afternoon show on RTÉ Radio 1 for the best part of 19 years, before switching to the lunchtime programme, which he has been presenting five days a week for the past 17 years.

“I enjoyed every minute of it and I love performing with the band, so on the first programme of the Collins Collection, which will be broadcast on January 2, 2023, will be me, the band and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, so it’s a very neat transition and I’ll be on every bank holiday for the rest of the year with the programme” he said.

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