RYAN Tubridy is surely the most relieved man in RTE at the moment.
Lazarus-like, Tubridy (inset) managed to pull back 177,000 viewers to the Late Late last week, stopping the rot of falling figures.
Fair dues, the numbers do not lie. And he pulled no punches in his interview of David Norris either, a marked step-up from the notorious soft-shoeing he gave Ronan Keating.
The powers-that-be must be delighted that their golden boy seems to have upped his game.
But the light at the end of the tunnel may be the beam of an oncoming freight-train -- in the shape of Simon Cowell's American X Factor, which TV3 will air in a head-on clash on Fridays .
If Cowell's extravaganza gains traction it will blitz not only Tubridy, but just about everything else, off the screen. Be afraid Ryan, be very afraid.