Wednesday 14 November 2018

In my life: Fab Four asked me to manage them, reveals Gaybo

The Beatles. Photo: PA
The Beatles. Photo: PA

Lynne Kelleher

Former Late Late Show host Gay Byrne has revealed how he turned down the chance to manage The Beatles before they became the most famous band on the planet.

During an interview with Sir Michael Parkinson for his Meaning of Life TV series, the two legendary talk show hosts and old friends recall meeting The Beatles on their TV debut on Granada television in Manchester where they worked together.

Byrne became the first person to introduce The Beatles on TV when they made their debut appearance on the small screen in October 1962 on his show People and Places.

The young Byrne was in his twenties when he joined two other Irish broadcasting legends, Terry Wogan and the late Eamonn Andrews, on English television.

During the revealing TV chat on his current RTE show, Byrne recalls how he turned down Paul McCartney's request to become the Beatles manger before their fame exploded in 1963.

"When the Beatles first came on our show, Paul McCartney asked you [Parkinson] for your autograph for his mum," he said with a laugh.

"And Paul asked me to take on the job as manager, which I turned down for some reason. It was a real career choice. Anything was possible," he said to Parkinson.

In the interview, Parkinson joked that the first thing he will ask when he meets his maker was if George Best had gone through the pearly gates before him.

He said: "I'd ask God: 'Did George make it?' Is Best in here?' He was the most lovable person. He was flawed as a man. He was the greatest footballer I saw. He was the first rockstar footballer." Parkinson, who was once a Methodist Sunday School teacher, also told on the show how he turned Catholic for his Irish wife Mary.

He said: "Mary is a Catholic and all my children became Catholic. None of them are practising Catholics but that was the deal I did with the Catholic Church."

"I did it because Mary wanted it. Her parents were devout Catholics coming from Galway. They were farmers and people of great faith.

"Mary herself could not have existed in her family situation without the help and nurturing of the Catholic Church because her mum and dad died very young.

"They looked after her and she got her tuition for free.

"Mary remains a Catholic. I never really bought into the idea of there being a divinity. It did seem a wonderful story."

The Meaning of Life will be shown on RTE One tonight.

Sunday Independent

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