Ryan Tubridy made the right choice when he turned down an offer to present a high-profile BBC Radio 2 programme over the summer, veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne claimed last night.
It emerged yesterday that executives from the Beeb had contacted the 37-year-old RTE presenter in recent months to sign a three-month deal to present Jonathan Ross's Saturday morning radio show.
However, Tubridy decided against taking the summer slot -- a move which has been backed by Byrne, who worked for the BBC and Granada TV during the 1960s.
"This would have seemed like a wonderful opportunity for Ryan but how could he do it?
"This would have disrupted his preparations for the doing the 'Late Late Show' over here," Byrne said.
Tubridy's agent, Noel Kelly, confirmed last night that his client had indeed been in negotiations to present the Saturday morning slot on Radio 2 after Ross quits the BBC on July 17 -- but that after some consideration, and the sudden passing of his friend Gerry Ryan, he had decided not to take up their offer.
"It was a huge compliment to hear from the BBC but things changed and I think Ryan made the right decision," said Mr Kelly.
Among the factors which affected his client's decision was the opening up of Gerry Ryan's former slot on 2fm.
After Gerry Ryan's passing, RTE had indicated to Tubridy that he would be the legendary broadcaster's natural heir.
However, uppermost in Tubridy's decision was his role as host of the 'Late Late Show'.
"There is a huge amount of preparation done on the Late Late Show before it starts each season and Ryan is totally focused on that.
"He didn't want to be distracted. He is also starting work on his new programme on 2fm," added Mr Kelly.
Tubridy is also completing a book of the on the visit of US President John F Kennedy to Ireland in 1963.