RTÉ gave Gerry Ryan's wife and children the final say in determining who would take over the role of presenting the late broadcaster's morning slot on 2FM for the next four weeks. The station last week announced Colm Hayes and Lucy Kennedy as the interim presenters of the 9am-12 noon programme.
The Ryan family will now form a pivotal part of the discussions on who will present the new show after Kennedy and Hayes have completed their temporary slot in four weeks' time.
"We won't be having any meetings on the new show, which will start in four weeks, until later this week," said RTé spokesman Joseph Hoban. "We have to be careful as well because we are working with the family for approval on this so we couldn't really say who might be in mind to take up the slot as presenter for the second time around. We had to call them before we released the news of Colm and Lucy to get the okay for that as well, so they play a big role in this".
The Colm and Lucy Show airs for the first time tomorrow morning, and will be produced by the current Gerry Ryan Show production team.
Colm Hayes will temporarily split from his current radio partner Jim Nugent, who will now be joined by Paddy McKenna.
Because of the sudden nature of Ryan's death, RTÉ bosses had no contingency plan as to who should be his long-term replacement. Names being suggested are Evelyn O'Rourke, who presented some of the tribute shows to Ryan over the last 10 days, Fiona Looney, Ryan's friend and occasional holiday replacement, or Dave Fanning. Other names being mentioned include John Murray, Ryan Tubridy and Hector Ó hEochagáin. The appointment will probably be in-house, although there is an option to poach a presenter from another station, such as Ray D'Arcy or Ray Foley from TodayFM or Sean Moncreiff or Eamonn Keane from NewsTalk.
Head of 2FM John McMahon said the new show would resemble Gerry Ryan's in some respects. "Yes, this is a new show, but we will continue our commitment to many of the items Gerry's listeners loved. We'll keep up the allotment, Nob Nation will continue at 10am with the irrepressible Oliver Callan, and Colm and Lucy will open the line to callers for their own unique style of chat. We hope too to bring loyal listeners some of Gerry's best moments from over the years."
RTé is also understood to be gearing new advertising and rate cards towards the new show when it is finalised.
"Radio sales are in constant contact with clients, and the sense is that everything will be geared around the new show in a couple of weeks. It will all be prepared over the next while but it is so soon after the funeral so only the interim plans are settled for the moment," said a spokesman.
The announcement was made the day after Ryan's funeral was held in St John the Baptist Church in Clontarf.
A host of well-known personalities attended the funeral, including Pat Kenny, Joe Duffy, Harry Crosbie, Marian Finucane and Ryan Tubridy.
Ryan's children told of how the popular radio presenter was a "text-book super dad" while his estranged wife Morah Ryan acknowledged his partner, Melanie Verwoerd.
Thousands of fans also last week paid tribute in a book of condolences in RTé and the Mansion House in Dublin.
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hi all, great job this week, hard to fill gerrys slot. i really miss the newspaper review in the morning. marie