New Late Late Show host shouldn’t be a woman ‘just because it’s time’, says Daniel O'Donnell
Singer Daniel O’Donnell has said gender should be irrelevant when it comes to filling Ryan Tubridy’s shoes on The Late Late Show.
The chart-topping Donegal man (61) was among the stars on the flagship show’s country music special last night as Tubridy enters his final stretch of fronting the programme.
The star, who has sold more than 15 million records, said he would “like to see the best person for the job, be that man or woman.”
“It really doesn’t matter. I don’t think anybody should get a job because they’re a man or they’re a woman. I don’t believe in that at all. I think you should get the job if you’re the right person for that job, whatever it might be,” said O’Donnell.
“I hope that they’ll find the person that is able for it, I suppose. Everything needs to change and this is the time.
“When Ryan came in, it was the same Late Late Show but it was a different approach.
“And it will be the same for this new presenter and the people around them that create the show – it’s not just about the presenter, it’s the producers and the team. They will have to put their thinking caps on as to what will be good for whoever is picked for it.”
Given that the last three presenters have all been male, starting with Gay Byrne in 1962, there has been more than 60 years of men at the helm of The Late Late. So does O’Donnell feel that it’s time RTÉ chose a woman to front the show?
“I think it shouldn’t be a woman because it’s ‘time’,” said O’Donnell.
“It should be a woman because she’s the right person for this job. And if it’s a woman and that’s who’s picked and she’s the right person, then that’s fantastic.
“But I think it’s a pressure to put somebody in just because they’re seen to be next in line. You want to get the job because you deserve it.”
O’Donnell said he had always enjoyed doing the Friday night show with Tubridy, and wished him all the best in his next adventures.
“No matter who you are or what you’re doing in life, I think it’s important to do things in your time and the way you want to do them. And I think Ryan has made this decision himself, that he feels it’s his time to move on,” he said.
“I really do wish him all the luck in the world and I would doubt that Ryan is entering into semi-retirement now. I can’t see that he’ll just do his morning radio show – I’m sure there are other things he wants to do.”
O’Donnell was last night unveiled as part of the new series of An Post country music stamp booklets, alongside Cliona Hagan, Nathan Carter, Philomena Begley and the late Big Tom.
And O’Donnell said it was “a great privilege” to be immortalised in this way as tribute was paid to that sector of the Irish music industry.
“I never imagined my face being on a postage stamp in Ireland. It’s beyond comprehension that this has happened for me,” he said.
“I still send cards and letters to people, so it will be funny to maybe stick my own face on the envelope – you never know.”
This summer O’Donnell will embark on his first major tour since 2019, taking in 13 dates around the island of Ireland. He will start in Athlone on August 11 and finish the tour at the Cork Opera House on August 30.