'I was never going to be a slave. No way. I love my kids too much' - Ryan Tubridy on working in RTÉ
RTÉ Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy has said “he was never going to be a slave” for his employer because he loves his family too much.
Tubridy (45), who is dad to Ella and Julia, who he had with ex-wife and RTÉ producer Anne Marie Power, told the Irish Daily Mail on Sunday that he prefers to put family first.
In May, veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne who is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, admitted in a radio interview that he regretted not spending more time with his girls Crona and Suzy when they were children, and spending too much time at RTÉ.
Byrne said: "I have only brief little snatches of memories of Crona and Suzy growing up around the place and I regret that.”
"But generally speaking I regret now the amount of time I gave to this place. It was an awful lot of time and I should have taken time to do other things and I had the opportunity to do other things but I was dedicated to the place."
Today Tubridy said he himself was wary of falling into the same trap throughout his career.
“I was conscious of that from the very beginning. That’s why I never did it. I never became a producer of the programme or asked for a credit. It was never on the cards because I was never going to be a slave. No way. I love my kids too much and I love my time with them too much. I was never going to miss the key elements of being a dad by working. I wasn’t going to be that person. I probably learned a lot of that from what Gay did. I was never going to do that.”
“We would have had a few drinks together over the years and he would have said that to me and talked to me about his own family and the time dads spend with our kids. And I felt he was rueful about that and wistful. I thought, we are different. We have different relationships with our kids than he did. I don’t think he should beat himself up about it, because it was a different time.”
“We are of an era where we tell our kids we love them all the time. That’s not to say we are better dads we are just better at showing it. I work on the premise of family first and everything else will follow.”
Tubridy, who has just published a new children’s Christmas book The First Christmas Jumper And The Sheep Who Changed Everything, said he would have loved a bigger family but “it wasn’t to be”.
“Yes, I did think about a bigger family, I think I would have liked a clatter of kids, but it wasn’t to be. So, I just look at my girls now and I just swell with pride every time I think about them, they bring very different things to the table and they are my be all and end all, bar nothing. They are why I live.”