Kathryn Thomas has been announced as the presenter of new RTÉ talent search show The Voice of Ireland. The series starts early in 2012 and Kathryn will be joined by newcomer Eoghan McDermott, currently presenting on UK radio and TG4, who will be the backstage presenter.

“I’m delighted – completely thrilled! It’s a huge gig for me; a really big step. It’s the kind of show that I’ve always longed to host. This is the best news. I can’t wait!” said Thomas who was on holiday in Ibiza when she heard the news

The Voice format has already been a hit in Holland and the United States. It offers a unique twist on traditional talent shows, with celebrity coaches picking a team of singers sight unseen, purely on the quality of their voice, before they do battle against each other and enter the live final stages.

Those who make it through will be coached by top recording artists and the winner of the show will be offered a recording contract with Universal Music.

The application process will be opened to the public next week and the four celebrity coaches will be revealed at a later date.