RTÉ Radio 1 is paying tribute to writer Maeve Binchy, who passed away in July this year, with a special programme presented by Evelyn O’Rourke.

Speaking to RTÉ TEN about the one-hour programme, Maeve: A Celebration, the presenter said: "We decided that Christmas gave us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life and times of Maeve with her friends and family.

"Maeve Binchy: A celebration is a lively panel discussion show plus interviews with her pals Mary Maher, Renagh Holohan and Professor Declan Kiberd and Maynooth Academic Dr Moynagh Sullivan."

Listen to a clip of Maeve: A Celebration where her husband, Gordon Snell, talks to Evelyn about their relationship

She added: "Maeve dedicated each of her 17 books to her beloved writer husband Gordon Snell and I recently went out to their home to interview him.

"We also feature an interview with her editor of 30 years New York based Carole Baron. The show offers a warm and affectionate portrayal of an extremely talented writer and communicator who sold over 40 million books.”

On a personal note, the Radio 1 broadcaster added: "I still remember being stunned reading Light a Penny Candle as a teenager because someone had finally written about an Ireland that I recognised.

"It was modern, funny, smart and a joy to read. Presenting this programme for me was wonderful as I am a huge fan of Maeve's. Every time a new book of hers was published I just used to think ‘thank you’.

"The books, her spirit and all the gorgeous memories that people carry of her will live on for years to come."

Maeve: A Celebration is on 9am on St Stephen’s Day, December 26 on RTÉ Radio 1.