Saturday 27 December 2014

Gay Byrne: Pat Kenny a major loss for RTE and a coup for Newstalk

Published 31/07/2013 | 14:41

Ryan Tubridy ,Gay Byrne Pat Kenny  on the Late Late Show
Ryan Tubridy ,Gay Byrne Pat Kenny on the Late Late Show
Gay Byrne

FORMER Late Late show host Gay Byrne has said that Pat Kenny’s departure from RTE is a ‘major loss’ for the station.

“I think Pat going is a major loss for RTE, but also a major coup for Newstalk”, the 78-year-old told independent.ie this afternoon.

"He's never been better, he's never been as much on the ball as he has lately. They're getting a terrific broadcaster on Newstalk.

“I haven’t spoken to Pat about it yet, I’m just hearing the news this afternoon like everyone else, but he must have been unhappy or dissatisfied in order for him to leave”.

He also said it was a risk for Kenny: "When you move to a commercial station you will be expected to be the flagship broadcaster, and if it doesn't happen it's an embarrassment all round."

The broadcaster also admitted he had been approached by commercial broadcasters during his time with RTE.

Asked whether he would consider returning to his old radio slot to replace Kenny, Byrne categorically ruled it out.

“Absolutely not, I’m too old and gray to go back to that. I’m happy enough just doing my bits here and there and the moment” he said.

Byrne hosted the ‘Late Late’ show from its debut in 1962 until he retired to be replaced by Kenny in 1999.

He continues to host ‘The meaning of Life’ series, a one-on-one interview series with famous faces or public figures.

By Brian O'Reilly

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