Friday 15 November 2019

Don't worry, Pat, it's still not too late for you to have it all

Oh life, oh time. Had Pat Kenny gone to the UK, would he be Parky now . . . or Alan Partridge? Declan Lynch isn't sure

IN the week that he turned 65, Pat Kenny came back for one night only to present the Late Late.

And it went so well, it made you wonder if presenting the Late Late is a bit like giving up the drink – if you do it just for today, you'll be fine. But the thought of doing it all the time for the next 10 years, may be just too much.

Pat has mused much, of late, on the meaning of life and on the passing of time. And because many of our lives have been vaguely connected to his, we too have mused.

Was his Late Late period a lost decade for him and for us? Or should we both be grateful that we avoided a worse fate? If he had gone to England, would he now be the top man at the BBC on £14m a year, or would he be presenting a late night phone-in on Radio Norwich with Alan Partridge? Which of these?

Certainly some observers of the last presidential campaign believe that if Pat had gone to England, Sean Gallagher would now be the President of Ireland.

But no matter what country he lived in, Pat would probably have lost money during the crash. Then again, his energetic performance on Friday night suggests that it's all for the best that he can't afford to retire – and as a bonus, his recent talk of his financial misfortune has, as they say, "changed the conversation". It used be all about how rich he was; now it's all about how poor he is.

Indeed, many of us were hoping against hope that the famous person who supposedly won the Lotto turned out to be Pat – again, it was not to be, though we continue to wish him every success with the old scratch cards. It could be you, Pat.

On Friday's show he took

a sentimental journey down memory lane with Phil Coulter, who is considerably older than himself; as is George Hook, speaking vigorously in support of gay marriage. Together they were as ancient and as well-preserved as the hoard of gold coins found last week in Carrick-on-Suir.

The film director Judd Apatow asked Pat if he uses Viagra. Of course he doesn't. But Graham Norton would probably have said that he does, just for the laugh. And somehow Gay Byrne would always be the one asking the guest if he uses Viagra, utterly unconcerned that the guest might not like him any more.

Then again, neither of them might have to interview the Minister for Health on Monday morning. Once more in the mind's eye we see Pat looking around the RTE canteen one day, and deciding that he, Pat Kenny, can do it all – he can host an Election Special and he can present the Eurovision and maybe even the weather, and do it better than anyone else.

And actually he is so good, he was very nearly right.

There is still time.

Irish Independent

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