Tuesday 17 September 2019

Gay Byrne says he wouldn't host Late Late Show again if given the chance

Broadcaster Gay Byrne Photo: Mark Condren
Broadcaster Gay Byrne Photo: Mark Condren

Sean O'Grady

Gay Byrne has admitted that, if given the chance, he would never host the Late Late Show again.

When asked if he would ever like to return for a one-off special, the RTÉ stalwart admitted his days hosting the flagship show are well behind him.

“No. I’ll tell you why for various reasons. I’m certainly not as sharp as I use to be. Secondly my hearing is not what it is use to be,” he said.

“And that is a grave disadvantage because if somebody from the audience and I couldn’t make out what they were saying. 

“And thirdly, I’m too old and decrepit and weary.

“There are already 87,000 people on RTÉ waiting to be in with a chance.”

The TV host (84) began treatment for prostate cancer in 2016 and told that he is feeling well at the moment but described chemotherapy as “the worst”.

“I’m feeling alright. Everyone tells me how well I look. If I only felt as well as I look, it would be great. But that is part of the treatment. I’m doing what I’m told,” he said.

“I’m following the instructions and I’m doing the best I can. The chemo is the worst of it all.”

Byrne told how he was previously approached by an American TV company to do work in the States, but ultimately turned it down because he wanted to stay in Ireland.

“I couldn’t bare the thought of moving. The American offer came about after a guy who happened to be the boss happened to be on a holiday in Ireland in Dublin,” he said.

“And he saw the Late Late Show just in time when they were looking to launch a chat show again and he said ‘that’s the guy. Get him’.

“There was an offer made but I just thought, ‘no thanks’.”

Byrne was speaking at the launch of his wife Kathleen Watkins’ new book, 'Happy Christmas, Pigin!'

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