Thursday 18 October 2018

Tubridy breaks silence on jabs from rival Kenny

'I'm going one way and he is going another,' he says of diverging careers

BROTHERLY LOVE: Ryan Tubridy with 'gentle soul' Gerry Ryan
BROTHERLY LOVE: Ryan Tubridy with 'gentle soul' Gerry Ryan

Niamh Horan, Entertainment News Reporter

RTE golden boy Ryan Tubridy has hit back at outgoing Late Late show host Pat Kenny following the veteran broadcaster's barbed comments about him.

As Kenny prepares to record his final show on Friday night, incoming host Tubridy dismissed his colleague's remarks by making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the direction his own glittering career was heading.

As rising star Tubridy pointed out there shouldn't be any competition between the pair because they are both going in different directions.

"I didn't pay too much attention to [Pat Kenny's comments]. There shouldn't be any rivalry -- I'm going one way and he is going another. He has produced the goods on the Late Late Show for 10 years," he said.

He also explained how he doesn't have time to "dwell" on Kenny's comments "because I've too much going on."

He explained: "I'm looking forward, not behind, and it's about the future now."

In an honest glimpse into the cut-throat world of show-business, Tubridy also described how he has found himself in RTE, an organisation which he says is "full [of] ego and bizarre resentment."

The new Late Late host made the comments while heaping praise on his colleague and close friend, shock jock Gerry Ryan.

Describing him as "one of the few gentlemen" in RTE, Tubridy turned his attention away from Kenny's comments and instead praised Ryan for acting "like a man" when he congratulated him on his achievements.

"Gerry is my closest on-air friend in RTE. We were in constant contact throughout the whole [interview] process. We're good friends.

"He was very kind to me when I started out in RTE making tea and coffee and right all the way up to the very day I got The Late Late Show job. He has been one of the few gentlemen in that organisation," he said.

Lavishing praise on his fellow star, Tubridy also described the "outstanding" Ryan as one of the few people in RTE who hasn't immersed himself in resentment and ego.

"In a place which is so full of ego and bizarre resentment he stands out as being one of these guys who puts aside all of that and says well done and acts like a man.

"There are very few like him in RTE. For all his persona off microphone he is a kind and gentle soul and he is a good man."

He continued: "When he heard I got the job he was very pleased. He was very generous and he is a consistent individual and he has been very good and kind to me."

The 35-year-old star, who is experiencing a meteoric rise in career, was speaking only days after Kenny made a quip about him comparing himself to chat show veteran Michael Parkinson.

In an interview with the RTE Guide, Kenny said: "I was very much a man of my own time. Ryan talks about becoming Parkinson and yet he's only 35. He refers to himself as a young fogey and I was never that."

Asked if he sees anything of his younger self in Tubridy, Kenny replied: "My mantra was always 'work hard and things will happen for you'.

"I was always interested in building skills, in getting as much experience in different areas as possible. So even when I was an announcer, I kept coming up with ideas for radio programmes. I was trying to modernise, in my own mind, RTE Radio 1. That is the difference between Ryan and I."

Kenny's comments come only months after he described his colleague as a "a young man in a terrible hurry".

At the time, he appeared irked by suggestions that his rival's radio show could be extended, eating into the time slot for Today with Pat Kenny on Radio 1.

He said: "I have no interest in what might be good for Ryan, to be quite honest. That's up to him.

"I don't know what he's doing. He's writing books. He's doing all sorts of things. He's a young man in a terrible hurry. He's only 35 and he's desperate to do everything that everyone before him has done." He went on: "My advice to him would be to slow down and enjoy what he has instead of rushing headlong into something and asking himself after five years 'Is that all there is?'"

The pair haven't spoken since Tubridy was announced as the next host of The Late Late Show.

However, Pat Kenny has described how he received a text from Ryan Tubridy and Gerry Ryan's celebrity agent, Noel Kelly, following his shock announcement to step down.

Kelly is said to have congratulated Mr Kenny on his Late Late Show success.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in RTÉ, staff will ballot this week on proposals for pay cuts being sought by management to reduce a projected €68m deficit for this year.

Angry scenes erupted at a meeting in Montrose attended by 320 staff last week to discuss plans to reduce the pay bill at the State broadcaster by around €10m this year.

Staff claimed there was not enough transparency about the bonuses, understood to range from €6,000 to €20,000, being received by senior management.

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