Wednesday 21 November 2018

Pat bids farewell to the Late Late with a little help from his friends

Departing host admits decision to quit may catch up with him later

Pat Kenny comes down the steps of the Late Late studio in Montrose for the last time
Pat Kenny comes down the steps of the Late Late studio in Montrose for the last time
Pat thanking comedian Pat Shortt for his performance
Pat sporting a pair of the 'Pope's shades' which were given to him by U2
Pat embracing actor Gabriel Byrne

A host of stars lined out for Pat Kenny’s last hurrah as he said goodbye to the show that had been his for the past 10 years.

The show opened with a standing ovation for the outgoing host, and perhaps a moment of trepidation for his replacement, Ryan Tubridy.

“If you guys keep this up I might just change my mind and there would be one very disappointed neighbour of mine out in Dalkey I can tell you,” quipped Pat.

Rockers U2 appear to have become the official ‘Late Late’ baton passers as, a decade after they wished Gay Byrne well, they returned to the Montrose studio for Pat’s farewell.

They played a rousing version of their hit ‘Magnificent’ in tribute to the broadcaster before sitting down with him for one last interview and presenting him with a rare Gibson guitar and a pair of the “Pope’s shades”.

Bono and the boys didn’t disappoint, from tales of the frontman’s semi-drunken wanderings around Number 10 Downing Street after a dinner with former Prime Minister Tony Blair to how the band almost fell apart before they had begun.

Bono recalled how a “serious disagreement” erupted early in their career after they questioned manager Paul McGuinness’ ability to get them a tour van.

Actor Gabriel Byrne also took a turn on stage. In an emotionally- charged interview, he told how he was the victim of physical and sexual abuse as a child and spoke of his revulsion at the Ryan report.

“I do believe when you speak out about something the disease of silence starts to lose its power.

I learned the facts of life actually when I was being abused. I know that sounds like a paradox but that’s actually what happened.

“The reality is that young boys and young girls who didn’t know any better were physically penetrated with spittle and Vaseline by grown men and women,” he said referring to institutional abuse.

In a lighter note, he asked Pat how it felt to be leaving the show with the presenter confessing his emotions would soon be catching up with him.

“It’s business as usual at the moment, I know I still have three parts to go. I think when the credits roll, I might find out something different.

“I said during the year when my mother died . . . I was ambushed by the feelings that I had. I suspect I might be ambushed later on,” he added.

The show then moved outdoors, complete with the audience, for an alfresco barbecue before Pat, his wife Kathy, and the crew celebrated long into the night.

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