Joanne Cantwell is to be the new anchor presenter of The Sunday Game Live following Michael Lyster’s retirement at the end of the 2018 GAA Championship.
It was confirmed earlier this week, that Michael Lyster was leaving the flagship GAA programme after 34 years at the helm.
That could have prompted a summer of speculation as to who among RTÉ’s roster of talent would have been stepped up for perhaps the highest-profile role in the broadcaster’s sporting stable.
Change happens and it is a particularly demanding job to fill the shoes of someone who has overseen such moments of high drama. RTÉ does it well. Darragh Moloney provided a seamless transition after the retirement of Bill O’Herlihy and Cantwell will do likewise.
The fact that she is a woman is an added bonus as we look towards greater equality in sport but she got this job because she is a great presenter. Hosting the 2016 coverage of the Paralympic Games in Rio and taking a key role as Katie Taylor bowed out of the preceding Olympics showed her mettle under pressure.
Now she will have to deal with the acerbic contributions of Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane and their successors as the summers of GAA action unfold.
Former Dublin footballer Joanne Cantwell joined RTÉ in 2007 as a reporter on The Sunday Game Live. Over the past 11 years she has worked across numerous RTÉ Sport programmes on television and radio as a presenter, reporter and journalist including presenting The Saturday Game Live, rugby magazine programme Against The Head and the RTÉ Sports Awards on RTÉ television and Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.
“I’m passionate about our national games and having joined RTÉ as sideline reporter on The Sunday Game Live 11 years ago, I’m delighted to take up the anchor position on such an iconic show,” she said.
” Michael Lyster is a true broadcasting legend whom I’ve always greatly admired. He has held the fort for the past 34 years in his own inimitable style. I’m really looking forward to taking over the reins in 2019, in the meantime, I also look forward to my continued roles on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport and as a reporter on the Sunday Game for what looks like a really exciting season.”
“As an experienced and accomplished broadcaster, Joanne has a proven track record across a portfolio of our output as a presenter, reporter and journalist,” added RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent.
“Her work across the Olympic Games, Saturday Game Live, Against The Head, numerous awards shows and of course her lead role on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 has been ideal preparation for her elevation to this position. I have no doubt that Joanne will do an outstanding job when she takes over next year”.
Cantwell was among our Sport for Business 50 Most Influential Women in Irish Sport for each of the last three years and we wish her well in this next stage of her career.