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1.6m tune in to see Tubridy on his Late Late Show debut

Ryan Tubridy's debut outing on the Late Late Show attracted 1.6m viewers.

Overall, it is estimated that an average of 927,000 people watched the entire Late Late Show which included an interview with Brian McFadden and a jovial discussion with veteran actress Joan Collins.

Viewership figures peaked at 1.03m between 9.45pm and 9.59pm when Ryan gave Taoiseach Brian Cowen a grilling over the country's finances. Pat Kenny's final farewell to the prime time programme peaked at 996,000 viewers.

However, Ryan shouldn't get too big for his boots as similar results were recorded for Pat Kenny's first Late Late Show.

When looked at in terms of the percentage of audience reached, the two presenters both drew 62pc of all TV viewers on debut

But despite a strong reaction from critics, Ryan said that he doesn't regret his tough grilling of the Taoiseach. "I wasn't out to get the Taoiseach. I was out to have a conversation with him. He gave a very robust account of himself," he said. "He came out of it very well, better than he went into it."

But Ryan said that he wouldn't be affected by the critics' discussion of his show and that the real test lay in audience figures.

"I think that now, we have the figures we can say that the show went well. If the numbers are anything to go by, I feel very grateful for the viewers for tuning into it in such numbers."