Ryan Tubridy has insisted crime boss John Gilligan will never appear on The Late Late Show and described him as “irrelevant”.
Speaking for the first time about the controversy that saw a staff member contact the convicted drug trafficker and ask him about appearing on the show, the presenter said it was never going to happen.
Gilligan was in the headlines again this week after it emerged that he went to a council office to ask about getting housing support as he faces losing three properties to the Criminal Assets Bureau.
“No, he’s utterly irrelevant to me and he’s not going to be on The Late Late Show, so conversation over,” said Tubridy.
“In other words, he’s not coming on the show, so it’s not happening.
“The reason I’m not getting into that is because it’s a hypothetical thing and I’m not mad about hypotheticals.
“If he was coming on the show, I’d say, ‘Well, here’s why I’m having him on’. But, now that he’s not, I’m interested in who’s coming on this Friday.”
Tubridy said the nature of The Late Late Show meant everyone has an opinion on it and that “came with the territory”.
Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy pictured at the launch of his new book with Irish Children’s Laureate P.J Lynch, ‘Patrick and the President’, in Eason O’Connell Street, also pictured are pupils of the Central Model Senior School on Marlborough Street. Photo Kieran Harnett
“When I was first given the show to present, somebody told me, ‘You’ve got to understand that you’re about to present a show that is produced by every member of the Irish public’,” he said. “So they all sit at home, and I would have done it when I was watching, and go, ‘Why would you ask that question, why would you do that?’
“It’s live for nearly two hours on a Friday night, so that explains why.”
Tubridy said that in the early days of his presenting the show, his mother used to say that tuning in was “like a mother watching a boxer getting into the ring”.
The TV and radio presenter has now put pen to paper to release his first children’s book, Patrick and the President, with illustrations by PJ Lynch.
Set around the visit of John F Kennedy to Ireland in 1963, the story is told through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy who manages to get a meeting with the president.
Tubridy will fly to America this weekend to promote the book in New York and Boston after securing a US publisher.