There's no bad blood between me and RTE bosses, says Pat Kenny
Published 12/05/2015 | 07:19
Veteran broadcaster Pat Kenny made his return to the small screen but insists he isn't interested in waging a war with his former employer.
The first episode of Pat Kenny in the Round was broadcast last night, clashing with his former RTE co-presenter's show Claire Byrne Live.
The former Late Late show host, who worked with the national broadcaster for 41 years before leaving in 2013, explained that despite the clash there is no bad blood between him and his ex-bosses.
"If I was to come back with something like The Frontline and was up against Claire, who is a buddy of mine, it would've been odd.
"But they're two different kinds of programmes. People can watch either or both."
Pat with Mickey Harte on the show last night
The Dublin native (67) revealed that many of his old colleagues wished him well before his new show aired last night.
"I left with all the friendships intact by the way - the Director General gave me a hug, so there was no bad blood," he told the Herald.
Responding to reports that RTE said they would not take him back, the presenter said: "I just thought, 'Well what else are they going to say?'
"When you're in the commercial arena and your stalwart is now working for someone else, you do the best you can.
"It's not as if this is World War III. I don't know who said it, but I understand the black act of propaganda and it's fine. It didn't upset me."
Pat said that he left RTE in an effort to cut back on the amount of work he had to do.
I wanted to lessen the workload, I wanted to back peddle from being in late doing Prime Time and being back in the factory first thing in the morning," he explained.
"I wanted to do nothing for a while and then the opportunity came along to do this."
When it comes to ratings, Pat insists he isn't worried about them but said he's enjoying putting the effort in at his Newstalk and UTV gigs.
The broadcasting legend admitted he feels as though a weight has been lifted off his shoulders now he is no longer trying to maintain top ratings in RTE.
"When you have massive ratings, you spend your entire life defending those ratings. On a Monday after a Late Late Show you'd be looking at the ratings intensely," he explained.
"A nice thing in Newstalk, where I'm trying to build and grow ratings, is that I'm not being pitched against others like Gaybo, or anybody else.
"This [In The Round] is a new thing, and if it's good it will grow. That's a nice way to be."
"When you're number one, it's a tyranny and a massive weight - I don't feel that weight now. Hopefully it will grow an audience and evolve, as most things do," he added.
The debut show featured an interview with Tyrone manager Mickey Harte who spoke about the death of his daughter Michaela on her honeymoon in Mauritius.
In the Round will run for four more shows before breaking for the summer, returning in the autumn for a longer run.
Singer Lulu and astronaut Chris Hadfield are also scheduled to feature.