RTÉ Television has announced that Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh has decided not to return to 'The Afternoon Show'.

The former presenter of RTÉ's daily flagship show has been given medical advice to return to work on a phased basis only, in order to facilitate a complete recovery from the abdominal surgery she underwent last month.

She said: “It’s with regret that I’m not returning to 'The Afternoon Show'. I was there for five seasons and it was a great show to work on, but my medical advice is very clear – a two-hour live show every day is just too much.'

Ní Chofaigh will return to the screen in November with the extended run of a new series of 'The All Ireland Talent Show': "But I’m delighted that the timing and the schedule enables me to return to 'The All Ireland Talent Show'. It was a phenomenal success last year and will be even more demanding this year in its extended run.

"Following that I will be busy with 'Seachtain na Gaeilge' and the St Patrick’s Day Festival so I need to be match-fit. I am really looking forward to being part of 'The All Ireland Talent Show' again. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that the show gives me to fly the flag for Meath and witness the array of talent that the country has to offer.

"It’s such a positive thing to showcase Irish talent. It’s a timely and yet timeless show which has an inherent attraction for audiences – uplifting, positive and fun.”

Niamh Farren, Acting Commissioning Editor, Lifestyle programming, RTÉ Television, said: “Naturally, we're disappointed that Bláthnaid's recuperation rules her out of the Afternoon Show, but we wish her well for a full and complete recovery and look forward to seeing her back on screen in 'The All Ireland Talent Show', which returns to air in November.

"In the meantime, as we did with Síle, we’ll introduce more new faces to 'The Afternoon Show'. We're going to create an Afternoon Show family, to offer the audience a host of new faces throughout the week on the flagship daytime show, alongside Sheana.”

The Afternoon Show is broadcast each weekday at 4pm on RTÉ One. 'The All Ireland Talent Show' returns to RTÉ One on Sunday 22 November, at 6.30pm in an extended run through until spring 2010.