After 33 years, RTE's Anne will sign off her last news on Christmas Day
IRELAND'S most popular news anchor Anne Doyle is to present her final TV bulletin on Christmas Day -- the anniversary of her first broadcast.
Ms Doyle will front the Nine O'Clock News for the last time on December 25 and then say goodbye to the studio that she has graced for many years.
The former civil servant presented her first bulletin 33 years ago -- on Christmas Day, 1978.
It is not known whether Ms Doyle will deliver a personal goodbye message, but her normally calm demeanour is sure to be tested by the emotion of the occasion.
However, it is unlikely to be the last time we see or hear from the Co Wexford woman on RTE.
She has presented Crimeline in the past and has stepped in for Marian Finucane on her RTE Radio 1 show on occasion.
Among the favourites to replace her are Eileen Whelan, Una O'Hagan and Aengus MacGrianna.
In comments this week, fellow RTE veteran Gay Byrne described Anne as the "soul" of the station.
In a glowing tribute, Gaybo said that the nine o'clock slot will be changed forever.
But he added that the public may yet see a very different side of the news woman.
"She has been the soul of the place for so long, she has been there a long time and is very popular all over the country," he said.
"People love her, she's really great fun. You don't get to see that side of her very often," he told the Herald.
"She's really funny and witty and self-deprecating, which is wonderful.
"Unfortunately, people don't see that side of her when she is reading news but she really is terrific. She really should do another type of show," he explained.