Sunday 4 December 2016

'I'm 82 today and in one piece - much to everybody's surprise, including my own' - Gay Byrne

Sean O'Grady

Published 05/08/2016 | 07:26

Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne

Legendary Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne turns 82 today and is showing no signs of slowing down, despite his recent health problems.

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The TV icon was hospitalised after a heart attack in January but he's back in fighting shape for his special day.

"I have remarkably good health and I'm grateful at that. I've arrived at the tender age of 82 in one piece and feel upright, much to everybody's surprise, including my own.

"Thank God I've enjoyed robust good health all my life," he told the Herald.

"I had a little heart setback earlier this year and I have been told to look after myself with a little more care, but so far I am doing fine."

The former Late Late Show presenter reckons the secret to his health has been regular exercise throughout his life.

"I walk a lot. I lived in Howth for 35 years and I walked a great deal there. The great thing about Howth is that going or coming, you've got to climb the hill," he said.

However, doctors have told Byrne he will have to take it easy with the exercise from now on.

"I've been told to try not to walk as sprightly as I used to and to look after myself generally," he said.

The former RTE host revealed he's having a quiet night with his family to celebrate his birthday.

"I'm not a person for big celebrations. I did celebrations for my 80th two years ago," he said.

"I'm in Donegal and I'll have the family around me and grandchildren. We will probably go out for a meal somewhere and that will be it. We're just having a little holiday. We've been coming to Donegal for the last 40 years or so."

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