The broadcaster shocked listeners this morning when he announced that today’s Ronan Collins Show would be his last after 43 years at the station.
In a special edition of Liveline dedicated to Ronan, one caller revealed she was in tears learning he was leaving daily radio, saying she “made it her business” to listen to his show every day.
Ronan admitted to host Joe Duffy that he “made the call” to refresh his career in June, saying showbiz and podcasting may be the next frontier.
"I don’t have another 44 years in me,” he told Joe, saying it is now time to do more of what he loves.
He confessed it was the loss of his colleague Larry Gogan in 2020 that started the process of him leaving.
Saying he gets “teary-eyed” discussing his death, Ronan revealed: “When Larry died, the heart went out of this building for people like me.
"We became great friends and he was my great friend,” he added.
“When he died I started to have a look at myself,” he confessed, admitting it was Larry’s death that prompted him to see the end of his own time on daily radio.
Announcing his departure this morning, he said: “I am leaving the lunchtime programme, and presenting my last programme on December 23.
"But heading into the new year I will be continuing with the The Collins Collection on bank holidays, and I am looking at other projects within RTÉ.
“I am very anxious that people know I am not retiring. Old DJs never retire, they just fade away,” he added.
Firm that he wanted to go out on a high, the broadcaster is moving on from daily radio though is committed to The Collins Collection and his own musical ventures.
“I enjoyed every minute of it and I love performing with the band, so 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,” he told independent.ie.
“So it’s a very neat transition and I’ll be on every bank holiday for the rest of the year with the programme."
The popular DJ began his career with Radio 2 in 1973 before presenting the afternoon show on Radio 1 for almost 20 years.
His lunchtime programme has been a five-days a week feature for listeners for the last 17 years.