Saturday 3 December 2016

Ryan Tubridy ‘wasn’t in the loop’ about Eurosong axe from Late Late Show

Published 13/01/2016 | 10:03

Ryan Tubridy pictured with Eurovision hopefuls, from left, Kat Mahon , Nikki Kavanagh, Erika Selin and Molly Sterling on the set of the Late Late Show. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ryan Tubridy pictured with Eurovision hopefuls, from left, Kat Mahon , Nikki Kavanagh, Erika Selin and Molly Sterling on the set of the Late Late Show. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Nicky Byrne Credit: Dermot Byrne

LATE Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy has revealed he did not know Eurosong would not be returning to the programme.

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This morning RTE confirmed that former Westlife member Nicky Byrne would represent Ireland at the 2016 Eurovision, meaning Eurosong has been axed for this year.

This year's Eurovision takes place in Stockholm after Sweden's victory in Vienna last year, the country's sixth.

Speaking on his show on RTE Radio One this morning, Tubridy gave his blessing to the idea.

Nicky Byrne Credit: Dermot Byrne
Nicky Byrne Credit: Dermot Byrne

READ MORE: RTÉ bets on Nicky Byrne to return Ireland to Eurovision glory  

“What they’ve decided is Nicky Byrne is going to represent Ireland on the Eurovision stage, and I for one think it’s a really good idea.

“For the last seven years, every year we do the Eurosong special and I love doing it and it was great fun and a distraction form the regular type of show we do, but it just didn’t yield the type of result we required.

“It didn’t yield the right results, and something had to change.”

READ MORE: Review: How will Nicky Byrne and his song do at Eurovision 2016?  

However he revealed he only found out that Eurosong would not be returning this year at the same time as everyone else.

The Eurosong special of the Late Late Show was one of the most watched episodes of the year.

“I only found out about this like everyone else. I wasn’t in the loop on this. But it’s the right thing to do.

“There’s a perfectly formed pop star, he’ll be brilliant with the press, he’ll be brilliant internationally.

Describing RTE’s decision as ‘unilateral’, he said Byrne as a ‘fully formed popstar’ and added his European fan base would be delighted to see him perform.

“If that doesn’t work, well we’ll see. I want to wish Nicky the best of luck, he’ll be a great ambassador for the country musically. The other thing just wasn’t working.”

However he said that if RTE’s internal selection doesn’t work, the broadcaster should revert back to a national song contest, as was used in Ireland’s Eurovision heyday in the 1990s.

“If that doesn’t work they should do the national song contest. That was really working for years when it was all happening in the 90s.

“Apart from the voting bloc, which I’m not so sure I believe. All sorts of acts are winning from all over Europe so that Eastern voting bloc excuse is gone. I think the idea of a national song contest might be the way forward as well.

He suggested staging Eurosong on the Late Late Show because of budget constraints during the recession.

“Perhaps the Late Late show was convenient for a while for financial reasons, just to kind of have a ready built in show and do it that way. But if there’s a few spare bob floating around and they could possibly afford to do a national song contest.

“I hope he does very well and he wins it.”

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