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Pat Kenny makes prediction about the next host of the Late Late Show

Pat Kenny. Picture by Steve Humphreys

Seoirse MulgrewIndependent.ie

Pat Kenny has predicted that the next host of the Late Late Show will be a woman.

The Newstalk presenter also admitted that he didn’t think Tubridy would last as long as he did.

Ryan Tubridy shocked viewers and colleagues yesterday when he announced that he was stepping away after 14 years as host.

Tubridy, who turns 50 in May, said it had been “a privilege to host the national institution that is the Late Late Show”.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, the former Late Late Show presenter said he believes a woman will take over the reins this summer.

Mr Kenny said: “I think it is almost inevitable it will be a woman. Gay did 37 years. Ryan did 14 years, and I did 10.

“You’re looking at 61 years of men presenting the Late Late Show.

“But I would hate that someone gets it whose female and they say she only got it because she is a woman. That would be terrible. Someone should get it on the basis of merit.”

He added: “I would like to see someone who handles the job well and who handles the legacy well.

“I think it probably will be a woman and I know all the players in the field… I would say it is likely to be a woman because of its weighted history but I will hold my judgement on whoever is selected to do the job.”

Tubridy’s final Late Late Show will take place on Friday, May 26.

Mr Kenny said he believes Tubridy would have stepped down sooner if it wasn’t for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He went longer than I thought he would. Like 14 years - I did 10. I think he might have gone sooner had it been the pandemic,” he said.

“Like there was no way you could abandon that shop in the middle of a pandemic when people kind of were stuck at home and depending on that kind of resource because it generated that sense of community during the pandemic.

“I suppose we’ve reached a new era of streaming as well so the days of getting a million viewers – besides the Toy Show – are probably gone.”

Mr Kenny said Tubridy did not seek advice from him prior to stepping down.

“I think it was wise for him to keep it as tight as he did,” he said.

“No that I would’ve been indiscreet but if he told people like me and confided and then there was a leak, well then you would be wondering which of my friends has let me down.”

Meanwhile, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said she will consider mixing up the format of the Late Late Show following Tubridy’s departure.

Ms Forbes, who is also due to leave RTÉ this year, said the success of the show was a “true testament” to Tubridy at the helm.

However, she said TV bosses may consider changing the format going forward.

“Look, it’s a TV phenomenon and I think you talk to anybody around the world involved in live television and they look at it with eyes wide open wondering how can this happen and again Ryan and Graham Norton regularly talk about this in the UK for example,” she told RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson on the News At One.

“The world has changed. The world when Ryan began 14 years ago is now completely different.

“And we are looking at a lot more fragmented viewing, people are viewing in different ways but the engagement with the Late Late is second to none but again people watching live or watching catch up.

“The way people are watching and listening hasn’t changed and obviously we’ll now sit down, and we’ll have a look at what’s next and who is next in that seat.”

Paying tribute to Tubridy, she said it was a “privilege” to work with him all these ,years.

“It’s a testament to him the reaction we are seeing and hearing today that he has touches the national psyche every Friday night,” she said.

"I’ve worked with him for seven years and it has been an absolute privilege to see someone of his calibre every Friday night to present a live TV show for over three hours on some occasions.”


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