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Stars join Gay, Pat and Ryan to celebrate 50 years of the Late Late

THE great and the good flocked to Montrose last night to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Late Late Show.

Current host Ryan Tubridy was joined by hosts of the past Gay Byrne and Pat Kenny as they reflected upon half a century of the Late Late.

Guests who attended included Hollywood actor Liam Neeson, Joe Duffy, singer Sinead O'Connor, comedians Patrick Kielty, Pat Shortt, the Horslips -- who opened the show -- Sharon Shannon, Amanda Brunker and Morah Ryan.

Also spotted at the star-studded event were RTE chairman Tom Savage with wife Terry Prone, presenter Mary Kennedy, Stephen Roche, Barry McGuigan, and singer Sharon Corr, Tommy Tiernan and Imelda May.


Gay made it a family affair, turning up to the celebrations with wife Kathleen Watkins and daughters Suzy and Crona. Pat Kenny had wife Kathy on his arm.

Rockers the Horslips kicked off the show with a rousing rendition of their famous hit Dearg Doom, accompanied by musicians Sharon Corr and Sharon Shannon.

Original host Gay Byrne received a standing ovation from the star-studded audience, before he revealed that the long-running show had not been an instant success.

"Everybody detested it when it first came on the air," he admitted.

"I think people were expecting an old-fashioned variety show and when they found out it was a talk show they were less than impressed."

Pat Kenny paid tribute to Byrne, saying that the night he took over was "the most terrifying experience" of his long and distinguished career:

"You can't follow a legend. I wasn't able to fill his shoes then and I'm still not now," he said, before turning to current host Tubridy and joking "neither are you by the way."