Ryan Tubridy will return with Paul McGinley, Rose of Tralee winner Maria Walsh and Baz Ashmaway for Late Late line-up
HIS 2fm radio slot may be in the doldrums in the ratings stakes, but Ryan Tubridy's Late Late Show is still hitting high notes with viewers.
The father-of-two is back at the helm of RTE's flagship entertainment juggernaut tomorrow night, for his sixth season in charge of one of the longest-running chat shows in the world.
Returning to the TV studio for the first time since May, 41-year-old Ryan will kick off the 53rd series by interviewing a string of well-known faces.
Although there are few international names on board for the opener, which returns to the small screen the same night as The Graham Norton Show on BBC, the Monsktown-based host has lined-up guests including Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, Rose of Tralee winner Maria Walsh and TV anchor and daredevil Baz Ashmawy.
Pulling in an average audience of 612,000 each week, Tubs feels like he's hit his stride with the production.
But he is hoping to take things to another level this year.
"We have a new set coming in January and I cannot wait, it's like redecorating my house," he said.
"I have hit my stride, I feel poised, calm and confident. I'm ready and fighting."
Tubs recently revealed that he'd contemplate a full-time move to the BBC in the not-too-distant future.
"If you asked me that question a couple of years ago I would have said that was highly unlikely - now I'm more inclined to rule the option in than out," he admitted.
"It very much might happen."
He has covered for the likes of Graham Norton, Chris Evans and most recently Simon Mayo at the Beeb and completed a two-week stint over the summer. Even though he lost 1,000 listeners in the latest round of JNLR figures, Ryan is not quite ready to give up on 2FM just yet.
"The Late Late Show is pulling in a 45pc share on a weekly basis, which is unheard of in the digital age so I can't be doing everything wrong.
"So you have to ask: What is the problem here? I don't think it's all down to me."