RYAN Tubridy will pay his own special tribute to Gerry Ryan after revealing how much he still misses him.
The Late Late Show presenter will be making the big step to 2FM this Monday when he takes over the slot left vacated by the legendary broadcaster's sudden passing last April, aged 53.
And the former Radio 1 DJ revealed that while he's intent on making the 9-11am programme his own, he will be forever mindful of his late friend's absence.
"I will be mentioning him in my first show. I've got a few words in my head that I'm looking forward to saying but after that, that's it and it's on with the show," he told the Herald.
Speaking about his friend's shock passing at his Leeson Street home last April 30, he added: "It's all wrong, really.
"He had an unfinished life and I shouldn't be doing that show. I shouldn't be here talking about it, but I am.
"And I think I just have to think about all the good things that Gerry did and try to respect that.
"It's a big seat to fill and it's big shoes, it was like doing the Late Late Show last year. But that was happier as circumstances were different. This is sadder in a way but now that it's here, I'm just going to give it everything I have.
"Gerry would be like, 'just do it'. I just wish he was around for lunch afterwards, I miss him."
The dad-of-two (37) said he's also determined to show a more relaxed side of his personality when he moves to the youth-orientated station and prove that he's far younger at heart than he sometimes appears.
"I'm good to go. That analogy I use is, I've spent the last five years at the front of the class and now I'm doing down the back.
"I'm going to be more like myself in real life, when people meet me for a pint or in the coffee shop. I don't have to put too much persona on this one. I'll be a messer like the rest of them.
"That was Gerry's legacy, he was always himself and there was very little difference between when you go on radio and what you saw in real life.
"I think it's time to honour that and do a little bit of that myself. The world has become very grey, very dull and monochrome and I want to give a splash of colour to it if I can."
However, he revealed that his busy schedule leaves very little time for anything else, including joining his other half Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain at this year's Rose of Tralee.
-- MELANIE FINN