RTE presenter Ryan Tubridy considered returning to college before agreeing to write a book on President John F Kennedy's 1963 visit to Ireland, he revealed yesterday.
In the first book of a two-book deal with HarperCollins worth more than €100,000, the radio and television star will shun the autobiographical route in favour of a book on the visit of the US president.
One of Mr Tubridy's relatives was instrumental in persuading President Kennedy to travel in June 1963, when huge crowds turned out to see him during visits to Dublin, Cork and his ancestral home in Wexford.
JFK was the first American president to visit Ireland. His great grandfather Patrick left Dunganstown, Co Wexford, for Boston in 1848.
"He often said that his visit to Ireland was one of the happiest days of his life and I'd like to try to get to the bottom of that and see if it is true," Mr Tubridy told the Irish Independent. "Are there people running around Berlin saying he said the same thing to them?
"If I can cut through the Celtic twilight and find out the real story of that visit I think it will be very interesting."
Mr Tubridy (35), who studied politics and history as part of an Arts degree in UCD, said that HarperCollins had approached him about writing a book but he had no interest in penning his autobiography.
However, he persuaded them to publish a book on JFK and his visit here, a topic that has fascinated the presenter for years. The book is expected to be published in autumn 2010.