Irish radio host George Hook returns to airwaves four months after controversial rape comments

Irish radio host George Hook returns to airwaves four months after controversial rape comments

NEWSTALK have confirmed that George Hook will be returning to the station with a new weekly show from Saturday, January 6.

The presenter will host the new Hook’s Saturday Sit-In broadcast from 8am to 10am every Saturday.

Hook, 76, was suspended by Newstalk on September 10 after provoking public backlash with comments about rape on his popular High Noon show.

Referencing a legal case in Britain in which a Commonwealth Games swimmer was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman, Hook asked: “Is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?”

Hook and Newstalk stood firm and did not offer an apology for his comments despite widespread criticism from listeners and the media at large.

The scandal also resulted in Irish Times journalists being banned from Newstalk after Fintan O’Toole published an article claiming the station was “the most fragrantly sexist public organisation in Ireland”.

Following an internal investigation in September, Newstalk announced that Hook had stepped down from High Noon but would return with a weekend slot in the future.

He had originally been scheduled for a December return, but was pushed back until January.

In a statement, Newstalk said that Hook’s new show will feature interviews, reviews and regular items on travel, music and US politics.

The announcement of Hook’s return came amongst a host of schedule changes at Newstalk on Thursday afternoon.

Other new appointments include tech correspondent Jess Kelly being given her own new show Tech Talk – while news presenter Andrea Gilligan will host current affairs and politics-focused programme Between the Lines.

Meanwhile, fellow presenter Kieran Cuddihy will present current afairs show On The Record.

"We are delighted to announce this exciting new line-up,” Newstalk said.

“In particular, to welcome these new presenters to our weekend schedule, each of whom has proved extremely popular with our audiences, contributing across a range of shows over the past few years.”