From 'exotic' Deano to #lambgate: 10 of the best and worst moments from 2016’s Late Late Show
The Late Late Show gets a deserved slagging from time to time, but the show has also provided some of the year’s best television moments.
From the cringe-worthy Valentine’s Day special starring Dublin singleton Deano to the super inspiring interview with Maureen Allman, a pancreatic cancer sufferer, it’s been a successful 2016 for the world’s longest running talk show. Here are the ten most memorable moments from 2016.
Who could forget the controversy racked up by a few little lambs last January when they appeared in a segment to showcase a new invention by a Galway entrepreneur?
Sitting in a revolving carousel designed to make the tagging process less arduous, some viewers claimed the animals looked frightened and uncomfortable, sparking national debate.
Despite the complaints, the lambs were pictured back on the farm later that week looking happy as Larry.
Tubridy later addressed the national debate on his radio show and said: "Visually it certainly was very odd looking to city, urban types".
An awkward serenade for Richard Gere
When actor Richard Gere agreed to appear on the Late Late, we don’t think he could have anticipated the cringe-fest that followed.
“Do you mind awfully just sitting back and putting up with or enjoying what we’re going to do,” Tubs asked the actor before two of the audience members serenaded him with ‘Up Where We Belong’, the theme song from An Officer and a Gentleman.
The actor did as he was told and kissed both the singers after they wrapped up their duet. Watch it below.
Deano the Exotic
Dean Dixon proved to be the absolute star of the Valentine’s Day special, when he appeared merry on stage during a game of Late Late Blind Dates.
Managing to bag a date with Kerry girl Amanda in RTE’s Greenroom, the 25-year-old returned to the stage appearing very enamoured but his affection certainly wasn’t reciprocated.
"We're getting together. I love her. I'm feeling exotic and enthusiastic."
Copper Face Jack’s later gave Amanda a gold card for her troubles after the disastrous date.
Inspiring Maureen Allman
Brave mum Maureen Allman (51) appeared on the show in May, inspiring the nation with her optimism in the face of a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Maureen, from Moycullen, said she hadn’t given up on life and told Ryan Tubridy she intends to enjoy the time she has left without worrying.
"I'm terminally ill but I'm not just dying yet," she told host Ryan Tubridy. "I have a terminal diagnosis. Death is on the horizon but I only intend dying once. That's it, end of story, so I have no intention of dying every morning when I wake up. It's all about living my life."
"Being honest I'm in a place where I'm actually very accepting of what's going on and I really want everybody around me to be accepting of what's going on as well."
She added, "For me, when I got the terminal diagnoses it was a huge privilege because it gave me time, but for me it also gave me a responsibility to try and make sure that I make things as easy for those that are going to be left behind."
Tubridy jetted to London to meet the Boss
The Late Late Show left the country for the first time in almost 30 years, when Tubridy caught a flight to London to meet Bruce Springsteen.
Speaking to the presenter, Bruce opened up about the pressure he felt at the beginning of his career and he feared he couldn’t cope with fame.
"In the States we were on magazines called Time and Newsweek at the same time. In those days, these were very prestigious news magazines that did not put entertainers on their cover very often and I ended up on the cover of both. That should have been an ‘I’ve arrived’ moment but it was like ‘I’ve arrived, let me out of here! Let me get away as quick as I can!'" he said.
“I felt a tremendous amount of pressure, all of which I asked for of course, but at the same time I felt very ambivalent. I have a lot of ambivalence. Ambivalence has been one of the great signatures of my life, so, whenever those moments would arrive, instead of being able to sit back and just enjoy it, which I have to say I probably am able to do today, when I was younger I was not able to do it at all."
WTF did we just watch?
A performance by Jiggy and Friends proved to be the weirdest one of the year as they opened a show in February.
The band, who are getting set to play Electric Picnic this summer, roused the RTE audience with their single ‘King of Fairies’, a traditional Irish hornpipe.
However, it was the mad choreography, which meshed Asian inspired costumes, traditional set dancing and hip hop dancers clad in tuxedos that left many wondering what they had just watched.
While the ‘Jiggy and Friends’ may have broken the mould of the traditional Late Late Show musical segments, the performance clearly pleased the show’s audience who were particularly rowdy as they danced in the aisles.
The performance was also a hit on Twitter, with many crediting the band for bringing traditional Irish music to the forefront in a modern way.
Kate tweeted: “Jiggy and Friends on the Late Late Show... I don't know what the f**k I just watched but they're playing Electric Picnic and I want to go.”
Bearded lady Harnaam Kaur joined Ryan on the couch
Body positivity campaigner Harnaam Kaur appeared on the show in April, to speak about the facial hair that has been a feature of her life as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome since she was 11-years-old.
Harnaam, who has walked the catwalk at London Fashion Week, told Tubridy about the moment she decided to grow her beard saved her life.
“It was a very pivotal moment in my life. I was ready to end my life, I said that’s it, I’m going, I can’t take it anymore.”
“I thought hang on a second, I can’t allow these bullies to win.”
“It was a huge liberation,” she said.
“I’ve actually been taking care of [the beard],… how soft is she?”
Hozier’s shock at fan’s tattoo of his face
A Hozier fan from Merseyside in the UK, debuted her tattoo in March via video on the Late Late Show.
Leanne pulled up her sleeve to show off her Hozier tattoo to the nation.
"I must be crazy because there you are on my arm, that's where you did your autograph for me outside the Manchester O2 Apollo, that says 'In the Wood Somewhere' because that's my favourite song. And that's my tribute," she said.
A visibly bashful Hozier said: "Thank you! What do you say?"
Calls for Michael D to get his own talk show
The president was Tubridy’s guest of honour on a September episode of RTE’s Late Late Show, much to fans’ delight.
Speaking about the possibility of continuing on his presidency into a second term, the president said: "I knew you would ask me that.
"You were at the Ploughing. I said I'll say to him when he's at the Ploughing in 2018 I'll have made my decision by then.
"If I make any comment now, it would interfere with the programme I planned out, the things I am doing in 2017 and 2018. I am going to Vietnam in November.
"It's a great privilege to be President of Ireland," he continued.
"The best way the President can fulfil that role is you must have respect for the Constitution, you must protect the ceremonial because it's important, you're representing the people of Ireland at home and abroad."
Katie Hopkins caused a stir
Hundreds of viewers issued formal complaints ahead of Katie’s appearance on the Late Late Show in November, where she came out with her usual spiel.
Speaking on his radio show after the appearance Tubridy defended RTE producers in their decision to feature the controversial columnist.
“[There has been] a lot of irritation about Katie Hopkins being on the Late Late Show tonight. Mostly, actually pretty much all [of it] online. A controversial guest, no doubt about it; it has been a controversial week.
“You really can’t just invite people on programmes like this or on The Late Late Show, you can’t just keep inviting people that you agree with on.
“You need to have some class of conversation regardless of how robust it is. There is a free speech issue, isn’t there? On both sides of the argument.”