Thursday 23 May 2019

'It's not real - ours is real' - Ryan Tubridy takes a pop at chat shows hosted by comedians

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy
Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Ryan Tubridy has taken a pop at chat shows hosted by comedians.

The Late Late Show presenter was speaking in the context of legendary chat show presenter Michael Parkinson's recent claim the the era of the chat show is over in an age where celebrities already give away so much on social media.

Tubridy said he had thrashed out the issue with Parkinson himself when they "went for a good feed of pints one night together in town" and "sorted out the chat show woes together".

"It was one of the most enjoyable nights I ever had," he said, "Because it was great craic.  He's somebody I admire.  He's iconic, he's amazing.

“What we agreed was that there are very few chat shows left.  What you have is comedy shows presented by comedians, masquerading as chat shows, which they’re not really. They’re just ‘comedian uses guest as foil to tell jokes’.  There are no stories and if there are stories they’re very brief or they’re edited together."

Tubridy argues that The Late Late Show is one of very few chat shows remaining which are live and focus on interviews.

“There are very few chat shows left in the world where it’s live and very real," he said.  "It’s probably one of the most authentic chat shows doing the rounds now, because everything imported from the UK and from the States now is boxed off, cut together – they’ll have a guest on for 40 minutes and that’ll be cut down to 10. 

"That’s lovely, but it’s not real.  Ours is real."

The presenter is hosting the Late Late Show from London on Friday night.  It's his tenth year at the helm of RTE's flagship chat show and the first time it has travelled under his tenure.

Fellow chat show host, Graham Norton, will be among the guests on the night, as well as Mick McCarthy, Barry McGuigan, Imelda May, Finbar Furey, while Nigel Farage and Alastair Campbell with debate Brexit.

Music will come courtesy of a 'supergroup' including Andrea and Caroline Corr, Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains and John Sheahan of The Dubliners.

His RTE Radio 1 show broadcasts from the BBC's Wogan House in London on Thursday and Friday. While Tubridy has presented on BBC radio previously, he said he has no ambitions to work there full time as he is "extremely settled" at RTE.

"I'm loving the radio show at the moment.  Even I'd listen to it and I can't always say that about my career.  I'm really happy with it and the TV show is flying so I'm working with particularly good bunches of people around me so life is good," he said.

He does not, however, watch himself back on The Late Late Show.

"I couldn't bear that.  It's a weird thing, but I really don't want to see... I've seen me interview, in the sense that I've done it.  But I just... no, no.  Contrary to all accusations of excessive vanity there's only so much of me I can take."

Having helmed the show for a decade, he says he's quite happy to stay as long as RTE will have him.  However, he admits he does think about life after The Late Late.

"I do think about it sometimes, but not in a sort of maudlin way," he says.  "It's more just the fact is you're not indispensible.  The fact is they could tap me on the shoulder and say, 'It's over pal. Thanks for your service.' 

"So, in that sense it's not a safe job.  It's not a job for life.  It's not there forever.  I'm not arrogant enough to think that it is.  With that in mind you always have to be wary of what if the rug is pulled from underneath you?

"I do feel I'd be just on the right side of employable in the event of losing my job because I've plenty of ideas and plenty of places to go in my head.  I'd be hopeful.  I'm still ambitious.  I still have lots to do."

The Late Late Show airs Friday at 9.35pm on RTE One.

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