I'm down here...Ivan The Injured broadcasts lying on floor as back op looms
IVAN Yates is flat out presenting his radio show -- literally.
The broadcaster is hosting part of his Newstalk Breakfast Show while lying on the floor.
Yates is set to undergo major surgery next week as he struggles with a long-running back problem.
Even a Government minister was a bit bemused recently when Yates lay down in the middle of an interview.
A source explained: "Ivan is set to go under the knife on June 13. He doesn't like to talk about it but he has been suffering with his back for about eight years."
It is well documented that the former minister prefers to stand during the three hours of the show which he co-hosts with Chris Donoghue.
But some guests have now been amazed to see him lie down on the floor where colleagues have situated a special microphone.
Junior Minister Brian Hayes was one of those left looking a little confused in the past week, while viewers of the Newstalk studio webcam can hear but not see him.
Yates is now set to disappear from the airwaves altogether for several weeks in order to recover from going under the knife.
"Ivan has a degenerative disc disease but has tried to avoid surgery until now. He had an MRI scan in 2003 and another one in 2007.
"Some discs are worn away. It can be very painful and he has taken time off from the show recently," said the source.
The former minister said he was not keen to discuss the procedure, but a friend said said he has "reached the end of the road" in terms of treatment and wanted to find long-term relief.
Neurosurgeons are set to insert six screws into his backbone and he will also undergo surgery to deal with the worn away bones.
He will present his regular 7am-10am slot next week before taking some time out.
"The recovery could involve several weeks of lying face down," said a close source.
"He doesn't really talk about it on the radio show because he's there to cheer people up not talk about himself."
His radio show received a major boost last month when JNLR figures showed that they had gain 23,000 listeners.
The jump to 90,000 people tuning in was the single biggest increase by any one radio show on any station in the first half of the year.