Byrne ultimatum | 

Claire Byrne teases Late Late Show future after failing to rule herself out of running

Tubridy revealed earlier this month that Friday 26 May would be his final night as the face of the historic talk show.


Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Claire Byrne has refused to rule herself out as the next host of The Late Late Show after Ryan Tubridy’s shock departure.

Tubridy revealed earlier this month that Friday 26 May would be his final night as the face of the historic talk show.

And although RTÉ bosses have not yet decided on a replacement, Claire Byrne is one of the favourites to take over.

The Laois native has neither confirmed nor denied whether she’s interested in the role but addressed the vacancy for the first time in an interview with the RTÉ Guide.

“I was as surprised as anyone to hear the news of Ryan's decision but when I interviewed him on the radio I could tell he was very happy with his choice and that really is the most important thing,” she said.

“He has given The Late Late Show his heart and soul for 14 years and left an incredible mark on Irish TV history.

“I am delighted that he is going to get to do all the things he loves now, and I am as excited as anyone to see what it is.”

Claire surprised RTÉ viewers last year when she announced that her current affairs programme, Claire Byrne Live, was coming to an end.

However, she teased that while radio is her “first love”, it doesn’t mean she would say no to the right TV gig.

“I was taking a bit of a break from television, but I never said I would never do TV again,” she explained.

“It is just that time slot was very demanding in terms of the rest of my schedule.

Speaking about her new quiz show Ireland’s Smartest, which she will begin hosting from next month, the 47-year-old added: “This is very different in that you can record these shows in a block together, so it is not placing a demand on you every single week.”

Teasing the possibility of being the next Late Late Show host, Claire told the RTÉ Guide: "I think over the years, if someone asked me what my first love is within my work, I would automatically say radio. Now I question that.

"I love radio and I have always loved it. I love the intimacy of radio but there is a buzz with television as well. It is different. I think a bit of both is a healthy mix.

"I suppose I made the decision to take TV out of my life for a time. Radio is my day to day, my bread and butter job.

"I probably would find it very difficult if someone said to me, 'No you can't do the radio anymore'.

"So maybe that is my answer, it is my first love, but I can't say that TV is the poor relation or anything. I have a great fondness for TV as well.

“My radio job is my dream job in many respects, and I feel very comfortable in saying that.

“I feel like I have a good rhythm in it now. I can pick and choose in terms of television what I want to do, so that’s a really great place to be, to be able to say and to be able to say no. I am exactly where I want to be, and I feel everything is in balance and I know now that I did the right thing,” she added.

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