Mystery as Aoibhinn turns down show for Paddy's Day
Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain has left RTE bosses scrambling to find a last-minute replacement after pulling out of the St Patrick's Day TV highlights.
The Herald can reveal the Mayo schoolteacher will not be taking to the small screen to present this year's festival package as previously anticipated, due to what a spokesperson for RTE has described as "unforeseen circumstances".
Aoibhinn, who is the face of this year's Seachtain na Gaeilge festivities alongside Danny O'Reilly from the Coronas, described just last week how she was "really excited" about landing the coveted TV job.
However, just days later, the other half of RTE star Ryan Tubridy mysteriously had to renege on the commitment.
"Aoibhinn had been due to present the St Patrick's Day highlights but she won't be doing them now due to unforeseen circumstances," a spokesperson for the station confirmed.
"I can't go into reasons, but we are working on getting someone else lined up to do it."
The brainy brunette (27) had been due to begin filming on the programme this week, in order to have it ready to go to air by next Wednesday, March 17.
Aoibhinn was even prepared to miss out on this year's glitzy Peter Mark VIP Style Awards at the Shelbourne hotel on Friday night if it clashed with her filming schedule.
"I believe I am nominated alright," she said of the ceremony last week.
"I will be presenting the St Patrick's Day highlights so I will have to see what my schedule is like before I can make up my mind as to whether I'll attend or not."
The glamorous science whiz has been nominated in the category of Most Stylish Female, while her beau of almost a year, Ryan, has been short-listed for the title of Most Stylish Male.
And while the Montrose star will not be in a position to attend, given that he will be presenting the Late Late Show at the time, it looks like Aoibhinn could yet make an appearance, having freed up her schedule unexpectedly.
Meanwhile, Tubridy will be missing from the airwaves for two days next week, as he makes his annual trip to Washington for the St Patrick's Day celebrations on Wednesday.
The broadcaster has a keen interest in the Irish/American political dynasty, in particular the history of JFK, whom he is currently writing his first book, JFK in Ireland, on and will make the visit in a non-work capacity.
Last year's visit saw the star celebrate the annual holiday at the White House, where he joined political leaders including Taoiseach Brian Cowen as an invited guest of President Barack Obama.
Ryan's daily radio programme on RTE One, The Tubridy Show, is due off air on Wednesday given that it is a Bank Holiday, while the star will take a day's annual leave on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the star confirmed that he will return on time to present his show on Friday, as well as the Late Late Show that evening.