Friday 20 September 2019

'Quite unlike George Hook, Vincent Browne and Pat Kenny, I can see an alternate life' - Ivan Yates on retiring at 60

Pat Kenny pictured with Ivan Yates at the launch of Virgin Media's Pat Kenny's Big Debate.
Pat Kenny pictured with Ivan Yates at the launch of Virgin Media's Pat Kenny's Big Debate.
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Ivan Yates will be giving retirement "very careful consideration" when he marks the milestone of his 60th birthday in October this year.

The broadcaster previously told Lucy Kennedy on her show Livin' With Lucy that he planned on retiring at 60.

Asked by the Herald if that was still his plan, he said that his wife is "adamant" they should both retire next year.

The Tonight Show host said he fancies having the time to go support his favourite soccer team Manchester City or cheer on Leinster - and to go out and put his feet up with a glass of wine in the evening.

"I will be 60 in October and my wife is going to retire from teaching in 2020 and my arrangements with everybody will be up," he said.

"Deirdre is definitely retiring from teaching and I am taking it on a day-by-day basis.

"Being under her feet might be the end of our marriage, but the point is she is adamant that we should give very serious consideration to it.

"All my arrangements run up to August 2020, so I will discuss it with her and I have made no commitment beyond that point," he added.

"I would just love to go to Man City matches, Leinster matches and race meetings.

"I would be quite happy to have copious amounts of Guinness and red wine and just enjoy it.

"Quite unlike George Hook, Vincent Browne and Pat Kenny, I can see an alternate life.

"I've never been a journalist, I have never been trained, it was all entirely accidental - I started with Claire Byrne in 2009 on Breakfast and I'll have done a decade, which is longer than I have done in most careers."

Read more: 'I don't think it was necessarily about Travellers or social welfare’ – Pat Kenny to face off with Peter Casey in another televised debate

Meanwhile, Ivan, known for his outspoken manner in a PC world, said that when he found himself in hot water with viewers unimpressed with his terminology on The Tonight Show, it was his opinionated manner that actually got him out of bother.

"I am the luckiest broadcaster in Ireland. There was a particular complaint to the BAI whereby we were discussing the Irish language and Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh was on and I said, 'You're only a cultural terrorist anyway, ramming the Irish language down our throat'. So a complaint was made by a number of viewers.

"The defence was that it is the style of this presenter to be outrageous, over the top and opinionated."

Meanwhile, Pat Kenny, who will host a debate special next week, said you can't "second guess" yourself when discussing contentious topics.

"If you do make a mistake you should be allowed the liberty of making an apology and the person who is offended should have the decency to accept it," he said.

The Tonight Show European Election Specials continue tonight and tomorrow. Pat Kenny's Big Debate will air on Virgin Media One on Wednesday, May 15.

Herald

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