One man, one night ... Gaybo goes it alone at Gate
FOR 50 years and counting he has interviewed some of the biggest stars from home and abroad. Now veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne is set for his first one-man show.
The 77-year-old takes to the stage of the Gate Theatre this Sunday night to tell stories, sing and take questions from the audience. Even his wife Kathleen Watkins will have to buy a ticket for the show, with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society.
The TV and radio legend admitted: "Of course I'll be nervous. Not because this is totally new to me but because I will be going out to face an audience and I will have no idea of what their attitude is going to be like. I don't do stand-up. Michael McIntyre I am not."
However, after a lifetime of interviewing the best-known names in showbusiness, he is hoping that he won't be facing a front row of fellow celebrities.
"Those kind of people -- celebrities and showbusiness people -- come to sit in judgment. Their attitude is 'Come on, so entertain me'. Nobody wants that kind of audience," Gay said yesterday during a visit to the theatre.
'Riverdance' impresario John McColgan, who came up with the idea for the benefit show, is sure that the audience will be in safe hands with Ireland's best-loved broadcaster.
He said: "Gay has a natural flair for comedy. He is a terrific raconteur and after 50 years in broadcasting, he has a terrific story to tell."
The former RTE head of entertainment has hinted that a run at a theatre near you is also possible.
"If he enjoys himself and the audience enjoy themselves, you never know what he might do -- he might contemplate doing it again," said Mr McColgan.
Tickets for 'An Evening With Gay Byrne' cost €50 and are available at (01) 874 4045 or online at www.gatetheatre.ie.