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Gaybo buries hatchet with Tommy over sketch that left nation reeling

RTE veteran Gay Byrne claims he and Tommy Tiernan have buried the hatchet after the comedian's disastrous appearance on the Late Late Show in 1997.

The shocking routine saw Tiernan use a string of expletives about the Catholic Church and performing a comic routine which mocked Christ's crucifixion and caused outrage across the nation, resulting in a staggering 300 complaints to the National Broadcaster.

Tiernan was warned not to leave the studio for several hours for his own safety, after several irate members of the public arrived at Montrose looking for him.

But, 13 years on, the pair have reunited on the small screen to record an episode of Gay's popular series, The Meaning Of Life.


And while he admits that he was very angry over the sketch, Byrne says the two bonded during the interview process and commends Tommy's spirituality.

"He's a very spiritual person and did well in the interview," Gay said.

"We'd had him on The Late Late Show twice before that (the crucifixion incident) happened and I'd found him lovely and charming and he just spoke about his parents and family and Navan, of course and everyone loved him.

"But the third time, it was a completely unsuitable act for the Late Show and a bad mistake was made and I was very angry that we didn't stop it in time," he explained.

Gay admits that he was stunned to learn during the revealing and candid interview that Tiernan had been brought up in a home where religion was never mentioned.

According to the broadcaster: "Tommy was brought up in a home -- and this will sound extraordinary to most people in Ireland, it was extraordinary to me -- where no vestige or religion or an afterlife was ever mentioned. It wasn't because his parents were atheists and hostile to religion, It's just that it was completely irrelevant to them. So he only came into contact with the notion of religion in school.

"But he is in fact a very spiritual person and did very well in the interview," he told TV Now magazine.

Following the success of his first series of the same title last year, Gay will grill big names including Gabriel Byrne Mary Robinson, Brenda Fricker, and Bertie Ahern over the coming six weeks.