Joe Duffy arriving at RTE yesterday with his son Seán and wife June Meehan

Hundreds of mourners lined up outside RTé yesterday to sign the book of condolences for veteran broadcaster Gerry Ryan, who was found dead last Friday.

Over four books were filled out by early afternoon, as heartbroken fans shared their memories and thoughts on the sudden death of the radio star.

Also signing the books were Ryan's partner Melanie Verwoerd, and fellow presenter Joe Duffy.

Speaking about the loss of his colleague, Duffy said he had spent a few hours with the family yesterday morning, and did not know how the station was going to cope.

"I don't know what we will all be doing in the next hour, let alone how to cope over the next few days. I will be there for the family as much as I can, I was just with them for a while there."

One of Ryan's biggest fans, Brenda Gordon, said he was her "idol".

"My daughter texted me and broke the news around half three yesterday. I couldn't believe it. I was such a huge fan. He was my idol and he lifted me up. My one regret was that I never got to meet him. I will frame the newspaper clipping pictures I have of him."

Another mourner Angela Sexton said she only recently met the late presenter. "I asked him how he got away with so much, he was so outrageous. He just laughed and said he didn't, he was always in front of the directors."

Managing director of RTé Radio Claire Duignan said the entire Gerry Ryan Show team gathered at Ryan's desk on Friday evening when they heard of his death.

"The whole Gerry Ryan team, from now and previous years, all gathered at his desk in shock, talking about what had happened. He loved that desk. He would sit there and rant away about ideas. The whole radio station was so quiet. We were all walking around not knowing what to do."

A tribute show to Gerry Ryan was aired on 2fm yesterday morning. It was presented by Evelyn O'Rourke, who credits Ryan as being her mentor in broadcasting.

"I was at home on Friday when I heard the news. I knew I had to come in, I had to be here. He taught me everything I know about broadcasting, and everything I now know about radio. He said to me that it could be the most amazing experience of my life, if I worked at it, which I did.

"I was so privileged to do the tribute show for him. I am heartbroken, and still in shock.

"He would be constantly pushing us, riling the team up, and then as soon as an argument would start he would stop it and say that was grand, if it started a row with us, it would start a row on the radio."

According to John McMahon, head of 2FM, Ryan rarely called in sick to work.

"It was very rare that he came in sick. There was a vomiting bug going all around the studios last week, and I just attributed it to that when he told us on Thursday that he was sick. He had 15,000 hours of broad­casting under his belt. It is all such a shock."

He said the station has no plans in place for replacing Ryan's slot this week.

"We have no idea what we will be doing next week. The plan was to get to 12 o'clock today and that is as far as we could go. There is no contingency plan. There was never a plan B for Gerry."

Over 7,000 texts and tweets were also placed beside the books of condolences yesterday, after the tribute show received thousands of calls from mourners.

One of the texts on display said: "I have not stopped crying all day, my eyes are red. Monday to Friday will never be the same again, may you rest in peace."

Another said "I am devastated. My heart aches and bleeds for his loved ones. He made the sun shine for me."