Wednesday 24 October 2018

Ryan takes on 'Late, Late' as Kenny mourns mother

Ciaran Byrne

Broadcaster Gerry Ryan will present this week's 'The Late Late Show' after the death of host Pat Kenny's mother, RTE confirmed last night.

It will be the first time 'the Late Late Show' has been presented by a stand-in. Speaking yesterday, Ryan said he would be "helping out a friend".

Mr Kenny's mother, Connie, died on Tuesday night and the RTE star was absent from his radio show on Radio One yesterday morning.

In a statement, RTE expressed its sympathy to Mr Kenny. "The Director General of RTE Cathal Goan would like to express his deepest sympathies and condolences to Pat Kenny and his family at this tragic time," it said.

Later, a spokesman for the station said: "This Friday's 'Late Late Show' will be aired as normal; however, for obvious reasons, Pat Kenny will not be presenting the show.

"Gerry Ryan, Pat's colleague and friend of many years standing, has agreed to host the show in Pat's stead."

Ryan himself added yesterday: "I'm helping a friend, and I'm delighted to. My sympathies go to Pat and all his family at this sad time." After agreeing the show would proceed as normal, it is understood RTE considered a number of different options for a guest presenter, including Miriam O'Callaghan.

Ryan has been in the news recently over his newly published autobiography. The 52-year-old broadcaster is one of RTE's highest-paid stars.

Guests confirmed for the show on Friday include singer Daniel O'Donnell and his wife, Majella, a former winner of the X Factor show and the band Snow Patrol.

Mr Kenny's father, Jim, died in 1982 at the age of 74 after a long career as a zoo-keeper. Mr Kenny recently told the Irish Independent: "It was a tough job in those days but he loved it immensely. He loved to talk to people about the animals and he was very popular with the members of the zoo."

Speaking in the past about his mother, Mr Kenny said: "We are very close and I can't recall a time we weren't."

The Late Late Show is the world's longest-running chatshow.

It was first broadcast in 1962 and the format has remained a mix of music, chat, and audience involvement in debates on topical issues.

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