Tubridy holding his own on 'Late Late' despite lack of stars
THE quality of guest seems to make little difference to the audience of the country's biggest television show.
Because, while Ryan Tubridy is haemorrhaging listeners on the radio, he is holding his own on 'The Late Late Show'.
In a season when he was criticised for giving singer Ronan Keating a 'soft' interview and struggled with some less than stellar guests, Tubridy's second season at the helm ends on Friday with roughly the same size audience he had last year.
The head of one media buying company has claimed the 37-year-old is 'saving' RTE's flagship programme.
Craig Farrell, managing director of Starcom, which buys advertising spots for clients that include An Post, The National Lottery and AIB, said the average viewership of the show is 678,000.
"This is almost exactly the same as it was last year over the same period," he told the Irish Independent.
"There is little doubt that the quality of the guests on 'The Late Late Show' has suffered but this does not seem to be have affected the audience.
"This seems to be down to Ryan Tubridy doing a good job with a difficult format.
"The long-format chat show is not done anywhere else around the world any more, but Ryan usually makes it entertaining, even without any decent guests."
Meanwhile, next season TV3 is set to put the new series of reality show 'American X Factor', starring Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, opposite it on Friday nights.
"There hasn't really been any successful airing of American versions of TV shows in that slot which delivered a sizeable audience." Mr Farrell said.
"And generally 'The Late Late Show' has performed well against everything that TV3 has thrown at it in the past -- including 'American Idol', 'America's Got Talent', 'The Graham Norton Show' and, most notably, 'The Dunphy Show'."
But he believes viewers could start to desert the show if the quality of guests continues to drop next season.
Tubridy will take over Graham Norton's BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show from July 23 for eight weeks while continuing his 2fm weekday programme. His 2fm show lost 14,000 listeners in the latest JNLR figures, down to 202,000.