Seán O'Rourke, Kathryn Thomas and Joe Duffy prepare for today's photo-call Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Michael Jackson in Ireland, ploughing championships, and other highlights from Radio 1's new schedule

The big moves, like Sean O’Rourke replacing Pat Kenny, are already known. We take a look at the finer detail…

RTÉ HAS CONFIRMED its full autumn schedule for Radio 1 today; a number of the station’s star names – including the likes of Joe Duffy, Miriam O’Callaghan and Ronan Collins – have been attending a photo-call at Montrose today to announce the news.

The big reshuffle was known about well in advance, following the shock defection of Pat Kenny to Newstalk: Sean O’Rourke moves from the lunchtime news to become the new mid-morning presenter; Claire Byrne is joining the Morning Ireland team and Áine Lawlor and Richard Crowley will take turns presenting the News at One.

In terms of news and current affairs programming, the station is also promising a series of outside broadcasts and studio debates ahead of the referendum on the abolition of the Seanad on 4 October. O’Rourke will also be helming his show from the National Ploughing Championships in Laois from 24-26 September.

Further down the programme list, there are some interesting nuggets in the documentary section; a look at Michael Jackson’s Irish wilderness years for example, Maeve Higgins on the love lives of Irish thirty-somethings, and the story of an unlikely racehorse ‘Rolo’ – described by the broadcaster as “the horse who was about to be slaughtered for meat at a horse factory, but subsequently went on to win race after race at some of the biggest horse racing meetings in Ireland”.


The Radio 1 autumn line-up (Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

Elsewhere, the station is promising extensive coverage of the rugby Heineken Cup and the Republic of Ireland soccer team’s quest for a place in next summer’s World Cup finals as part of its sporting highlights. There’s also a new four part series from John Kelly on Irish crime fiction, and a series of short plays featuring popular comedian and former D’Unbelieveable Pat Shortt.

The new (but previously announced) primetime weekday schedule looks like this:

7.00-9.00am: Claire Byrne announced as new co-presenter of Morning Ireland, joining Rachael English, Gavin Jennings and Cathal MacCoille

9.00-10.00am: Miriam O’Callaghan continues to present the key 9am slot for the autumn

10.00-12.00pm: Sean O’Rourke named as the new presenter of the Today programme, replacing Pat Kenny

12.00-1.00pm: Ronan Collins

1.00-1.45pm: Richard Crowley and Aine Lawlor announced as alternating presenters on RTÉ’s News at One

1.45-3.00pm: Talk to Joe!… It’s ‘Liveline’

3.00-4.30pm: Derek Mooney

4.30pm-7.00pm: Mary Wilson on ‘Drivetime’

Read: Seán O’Rourke replaces Pat Kenny and Claire Byrne joins Morning Ireland >

Pat Kenny on revealing his salary: ‘I don’t have to and I’m not going to’ >

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