Friday 19 July 2019

'I knew O'Connor would be ousted by D'Arcy' - Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy
Ray D'Arcy
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

Ryan Tubridy has said he knew immediately when Ray D'Arcy returned to RTÉ that Brendan O'Connor would be moved from the station's prime time Saturday night show.

The announcement that Ray D'Arcy will present a show on Saturday nights in the autumn has led to speculation that he is being groomed to take over the Late Late Show.

In an interview for today's Weekend Review in the Irish Independent, Tubridy said he welcomes competition from D'Arcy's new show, and Pat Kenny's return to television on UTV Ireland.

"Everybody ups their game. If something else comes along you say 'let's do better than them, let's try and beat them.' "

Asked for his reaction to Brendan O'Connor leaving his show at the end of the season, Tubridy said: "I was not remotely surprised. As soon as I heard Ray D'Arcy was coming back to RTÉ, I thought - well that's Saturday night sorted.

"The dogs in the street in and around Montrosia, as I call it, would have known that was happening."

The broadcaster said the real difficulty for the Saturday night slot is the Late Late.


"You have to box clever. We made it an entertainment show. We played with the audience and guests had to sing for their supper.

"I don't think it works if you try to turn it into the Late Late lite. They should make it an entertainment show and let that be the end of it."

Ray D'Arcy himself once suggested that the format of the Late Late Show was in need of radical surgery and that the mix of the light and the serious was not working.

Tubridy rejected these criticisms and said: "The Late Late Show is fine. It is not something that is broken and it doesn't need fixing."

The broadcaster said the TV environment is a lot more competitive than it was in Gay Byrne's time.

"Gay was presenting the show in two-channel land, so he was blessed.

"Now there is an unending number of channels, and whatever is happening on the internet.

"No one is watching the television - they're looking at screens with TV on in the background.

"The landscape has changed dramatically. To be surviving with a show like (the Late Late Show) in an era like this is not bad going."

Irish Independent

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