Ryan Tubridy has broken his silence on reports that he's due to step into his late pal Gerry Ryan's shoes on his radio show.
The RTE star told the Herald it was still 'too soon' since his friend's tragic death on April 30 to become involved in any speculation regarding the 9am to 12pm slot on 2FM.
This week saw the emotional Late Late Show presenter (36) stepping out for the first time since paying his final respects to the man he described as his mentor. When quizzed about being the front-runner to take over the morning slot, he admitted it hadn't even considered it.
"I'm on Radio One, everything is going well there. I'm not thinking about any of that -- it's too early," he said.
"It has been a difficult ten days. I'm at my first event not to do with work since Gerry passed away. It's just about keeping going and getting on with things but not forgetting who he was."
Gerry's slot, which regularly pulled in 300,000 listeners, is being filled for the next month by Lucy Kennedy and Colm Hayes while a permanent replacement is organised.
Tubridy also admitted that it would be hard watching last night's tribute to Gerry on a special edition of Ryan Confidential. It included footage of the occasion on which he interviewed Gerry, resulting in some startling insights into the broadcaster's real character.
"I was looking at the recording of that, it was really hard going and I was reminded of the chasm that is in my life now," said Ryan.
He put the sadness of recent days behind him this week to co-host this years O2 Ability Awards at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, where he rubbed shoulders with Lorraine Keane, Peter Devlin, Packie Bonner, Rosanna Davison and Jenny Buckley at the black-tie event.
But it will be back to business for the affable host this evening as he returns to the studio of the Late Late Show.
One of his special guests will be the late Boyzone star Stephen Gately's husband Andy Cowles.
Ryan explained: "I think enough time has passed for us to do an emotionally tuned-in interview that's not too raw."