VETERAN presenter Gay Byrne says it's a "miracle" the Late Late Show has lasted half a century.
The former host, who will return alongside Pat Kenny for the Late Late 50 bash next week, said he never imagined the series would continue as it has.
"It's a miracle that the thing has lasted and it's probably one of the most successful shows in television history.
"We never knew what it was going to be when we started it 50 years ago, but there is no comparable talk show anywhere in the world which has so gained the confidence and gained the popularity in its own country."
"The Tonight Show in the US is the comparable show because it's been on the air for so long, but that has never achieved the popularity of The Late Late in its own country like we have.
"I'm not talking about numbers of viewers, but the proportion of people who watch it."
Gay added that while he's looking forward to joining up with Ryan Tubridy to mark the special occasion, he'll be trying to do as little as he can.
"I'll be sitting back as much as possible, because I worried about it for long enough and that's the end of that."
Meanwhile, Gay's old musical director on the Friday night slot Frank McNamara will be in the audience for the evening.
His wife Theresa Lowe admitted it'll be an extremely nostalgic and emotional night for the family.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Gay left ... To think of it and how long it's been going is outstanding. It'll be something else."