Tubridy: interest in my private life is all part of the fame game
"IT'S all a bit peculiar... but that's the world we live in." That was Ryan Tubridy's take on the whirlwind of speculation surrounding his on-off relationship with Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, the Irish teacher and former Rose of Tralee.
After weeks of being hounded on the status of his love life, the RTE star said he was trying his best to have a "normal relationship" amid the conjecture and guesswork.
"This is my job and people are interested in what I do and where I am and that's the world we live in," he said.
"When you present a show like The Late Late Show, you are in that zone and I understand why people want to know. It's a bit peculiar but that's the world we live in," he said.
"You can try to have a normal relationship in that world... so I try. To me, that's reality now, so I can't compare it to anything else.
"This is the life I lead. It's become normal now, so I just get on with it."
The chat show host hit the headlines last week after gushing about lady in red Aoibhinn at the Mansion House party to celebrate the release of his new book, JFK In Ireland.
While the pair happily posed for photos together, they separately declined to be drawn on whether their romance was on or off.
Both the RTE star and the former Rose of Tralee went out of their way to emphasise that they were out together "for the night" when asked about speculation surrounding their relationship.
Speaking about the release of his new book at this year's Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards, which are held in conjunction with the Sunday Independent as the media partner, he said: "I had very low expectations about how the book was going to be received.
"I think people see me on The Late Late and hear me on the radio and I think that's enough. I don't want them to be totally bored by me.
"It's a very different world to be moving in now. Two nominations for a prize, which for me is totally fantasy-island stuff -- with real writers and proper authors and then me interloping my way among them. It's been fun."
Meanwhile, commenting on the latest radio-listenership figures, which show that Gerry Ryan's slot on 2fm lost 24,000 listeners following the star's death in April, Tubridy -- who took over the show in late August -- explained that they did not take into account his tenure.
"I fall between two stools in the radio at the moment. I started a new show and it's almost part of another show, so they're not really my figures. My figures will be out in six months' time.
"But I'm involved in this new programme now and I'm loving it and I think we're going to do okay and take some time."
The RTE star now has his work cut out to coax listeners back to a slot which had become entirely associated with the late Gerry Ryan.
"There could be a shift in the audience and probably the demographic and the way it works, but we'll get there," he said.
The audience has fallen to 262,000, with the stand-in Colm And Lucy Show failing to fill the void.
At his peak, Gerry Ryan attracted well over 300,000 listeners. For the first time in a long time, the radio slot failed to appear in the top 10, falling to 11th position.