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The Big Interview: Ivan Yates on his short-lived retirement, his father's death and why he had an affair

Boredom forced the broadcaster out of a very short-lived retirement, but he hits as hard as ever, finds Niamh Horan

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Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

Ireland's most opinionated talk-show host, Ivan Yates, isn't often left speechless, but there was a time when words failed him at the moment he needed them most.

It was the winter of 1978 and his father, John F Yates, was on his death bed. Two years earlier, Ivan had been uprooted from boarding school to take over the family farm. At 17, he learned his father was dying of cancer. "I was sitting by the solid fuel fire in his bedroom, where I spent most of my evenings. I would sit for an hour and tell him all about the farm." It was the only subject they ever spoke about.


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