RTÉ has announced Pat Kenny's decision to step down as the presenter of its flagship entertainment programme, 'The Late Late Show', after ten successful years at the helm.
Mr Kenny will leave his position at the end of this season's Late Late Show to take up a position as the presenter of a new current affairs programme.
The new show, scheduled to be broadcast on Monday nights, replacing 'Questions and Answers', is designed to be at the cutting-edge of political debate and will include a mix of political satire, analysis and debate.
Cathal Goan, Director-General of RTÉ, said that Pat Kenny will be a hard act to follow on 'The Late Late Show'.
He added: "Pat took on the daunting job of replacing someone who had hosted the show for thirty-seven years. He succeeded in making the programme his own and it has been consistently rated as RTÉ's best performing show, week in week out.
"In discussing his future at RTÉ it was clear that Pat did not see himself continuing with 'The Late Late Show' for another five years. We were delighted to be in a position to offer him the challenge of creating and presenting a new show in current affairs. We believe that the experience he brings to 'The Late Late Show' allied to his unique talent in public affairs will make this must-watch television."
Commenting on his decision, Pat Kenny said: "I am delighted to take on this new challenge in my career. It has always been my long-standing intention to return to television current affairs and after ten years on The Late Late Show and 21 years in television entertainment it is time for someone else to have a go.
"Of course I will miss The Late Late Show, but I won't miss the late late Friday nights running into the early hours of Saturday morning. What I will miss is the camaraderie and friendship of my Late Late colleagues. I will miss the sheer fun of putting it all together every week. But ten years is enough and I look forward to passing on the mantle. It is good to depart knowing that the show is still number one in the ratings. It demonstrates that we, as a team, are really in touch with our audience, and they have rewarded us with their loyalty."
No decision has been taken on a replacement presenter for The Late Late Show. The Director-General of RTÉ, Cathal Goan, and the MD of RTÉ Television, Noel Curran, will be addressing this matter in the coming period.