Tubridy denies 'mugging' Cowen in Late Late chat
RYAN Tubridy insisted yesterday he had not been "out to get the Taoiseach" when he interviewed him during his debut on the 'Late Late Show'.
"I was out to have a conversation with him. He came out of it very well, better than he went into it," Mr Tubridy said, adding that while some of the questions had been difficult, some of Brian Cowen's answers had been "admirable".
The RTE presenter also insisted that he would not change one minute of Friday evening's show. "I stand over every second," he said.
Just hours earlier, the Taoiseach denied that he felt he had been "mugged" by the show's new host.
Mr Cowen said: "I've had no problem with the show, it was a fine show and I got on well. As I say, I've no problems with it at all."
And he would not be drawn on how he compared Ryan Tubridy with previous hosts Pat Kenny and Gay Byrne.
"I'm trying to keep me job," he laughed.
Mr Tubridy's first-night figures certainly stood up against those of his predecessors.
RTE revealed last night that an average of 927,000 people watched as the new host took on the longest-running chat show in the world.
Over 1.6 million people tuned in during the course of the two-hour show, ensuring that Mr Tubridy's inaugural show outdid Pat Kenny's debut in the hot seat.
With the exception of ratings for the 'Toy Show' programmes, the new boy on the block can relax, smug in the knowledge that he has beaten his predecessor.
Meanwhile, Mr Tubridy teamed up with his morning Today FM rival Ray D'Arcy yesterday to celebrate record-breaking figures for Irish radio, with over three million people listening to stations here every day.
Mr D'Arcy said he believed that more people than ever before were listening to radio because "it's intimate, it's live and there is very much a sense of community".
The newest figures show radio is popular among all age groups, with 84pc of 15 to 19-year-olds listening every day, compared to 87pc of those aged over 65.
Irish people also tune into radio for longer than most European counterparts, listening in for nearly four hours each day.