No RTÉ return for Ryan Tubridy

Having being largely exonerated by the Grant Thornton report into RTÉ’s handling of his salary, Ryan Tubridy was set to make a return to the airwaves on 4 September.

However in a dramatic turn of events, the deal regarding a two-year contract which was due to be signed fell apart.

The new contract would have required Tubridy to reimburse the €150,000 he received as part of the deal with car manufacturer Renault. He would also receive a salary of €170,000 and host a new podcast.

However, the deal came undone at the eleventh hour. The sticking point appears to be the statement released by Tubridy on Tuesday which welcomed the Grant Thorton report, where he said that he still maintains the belief that the money associated with the Renault deal wasn't a salary top-up. This provoked frustration and anger in RTÉ, and prompted the station’s Director General to end negotiations yesterday.

Speaking about his decision, Kevin Bakhurst said that “trust between the parties has broken down” and “there are no plans for Ryan to return to his presenting role with RTÉ”.

“I would say he was shocked and disappointed. It was a difficult conversation,” the Director General said on RTÉ News last night.

He was of the opinion that Ryan Tubridy had not taken enough personal responsibility for the payments scandal that has engulfed RTÉ, and showed little contrition for his part in the events. However he insisted that Tubridy was not being scapegoated.

With no plans for Tubridy’s return, speculation is growing about who might replace on his weekday Radio One slot.

There are a number of names in the mix, with two front runners currently tipped to take over.

Oliver Callan, the impersonator behind the Callan’s Kicks sketch show had been keeping the seat warm in the immediate aftermath of the payment’s fallout and following confirmation this week that Tubridy won’t be returning to his RTE morning show, the bookies make Callan the even money favourite to take over the role permanently.

Brendan Courtney, who is currently covering the slot is also a strong contender as a possible replacement.

Other names that have been mentioned include Anton Savage, a popular weekend presenter on Newstalk, RTÉ veteran Miriam O’Callaghan and Prime Time presenter Sarah McInerney.