Gerry's secret joy over his new TV chat show
BIG PAY RISE: Star's career was set to hit a new high in autumn
Gerry Ryan had never been happier than in the days leading up to his death after signing a deal with RTE for three new television shows.
The Herald can reveal the dad of five had negotiated a lucrative new contract with RTE in recent weeks, which was to include a stint presenting his very own Saturday night chat show.
Speculation had been mounting in recent times that Gerry was due to take over the reins for an eight-week series in autumn, following Craig Doyle's current run.
However, the veteran star had not been in a position to confirm the news, given that Montrose bosses were planning to announce it during their annual autumn schedule unveiling next autumn.
"Gerry had just confirmed the details with RTE and he was absolutely delighted to have signed the contract," said an RTE insider.
"He was told he would have to keep it under wraps until the summer, which was going to be nearly impossible for him given his excitement.
"He was also told that he was not under any circumstances to confirm it to the media.
"A live chat show was one of the few challenges that he had not yet managed to take on during his long broadcasting career and he was really thrilled by the prospect of doing it. After missing out on the Late Late Show gig last year, this was his chance to shine and he was already busy coming up with his wishlist of potential guests for his research team," they added.
RTE had also agreed to commission another series of his hit weight loss programme, Operation Transformation, after the recently aired series attracted strong rating figures.
Gerry was also set to take to the small screen to record another series of Ryan Confidential.
The series, which sees Gerry join a number of high profile guests for candid one-on-one interviews over lunch was currently on air.
To date two episodes had gone out; the first with Bill Cullen and the second, which aired on Thursday night, with British model Heather Mills.
The star and his team had completed the filming and editing of a third programme, featuring George Hook, which was due to air next Thursday.
Station insiders said it is unlikely that the episode will air as scheduled. However, it is expected to go out at a later date.
Gerry's final guest was actor Michael Gambon.
Sadly just half of the interview had been completed prior to the 2fm presenter's tragic death. The footage is unlikely to ever be shown.