Sunday 15 September 2019

Gay Byrne: I want to broadcast on RTE again but my family say no

Kathleen Watkins and daughters are keeping a close eye on Gay Byrne to make sure he doesn't over do it. Picture: David Conachy
Kathleen Watkins and daughters are keeping a close eye on Gay Byrne to make sure he doesn't over do it. Picture: David Conachy
Gay Byrne
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Gay Byrne has revealed RTE want him back on air to present his Sunday show on Lyric FM but his family has imposed a well-meaning veto.

Ireland’s 84-year-old king of the airwaves has been battling cancer in recent times. He said that he regrets not being able to get back behind the microphone.

“RTE want me back on the air in January for my little Sunday afternoon programme and I won’t be let go,” he said.

He said his wife Kathleen Watkins and daughters Suzy and Crona ‘ganged up’ to tell him he must not do it.

Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne

“They just say I’m not up to it at the moment, and I suspect they may be partly right, but nonetheless I greatly regret that I can’t do it,” he said.

“It was my little outlet, that’s all. It was unimportant. It was only a Mickey Mouse radio programme but it was an appreciative listenership. In fairness, it affects Kathleen as well, because it was her Sunday too,” he explained.

The Sunday With Gay Byrne afternoon show featured the best of traditional jazz, big band and swing music mixed with chat.

Kathleen Watkins’ new book Happy Christmas Pigin! will be published this month. It is a follow-up to her 2016 bestseller, Pigin of Howth.

Read Barry Egan’s full interview with Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins in Living magazine in today’s Sunday Independent

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top