| 16.2°C Dublin

Pat beats rival Ryan with first Blair interview

RTE's Pat Kenny stole Ryan Tubridy's thunder by nipping in ahead of him and nabbing the first interview with Tony Blair.

Although Kenny's interview won't be broadcast until Monday, he was the first to get a one-to-one with the former British Prime Minister.

The new season of the Late Late Show returned to our small screens last night with Tubridy's big interview hailed as a major coup for the chat show.

Tubridy spent the past week swotting up for his encounter with the ex-Labour leader in Mr Blair's only live TV interview to promote his new book.

However, eyebrows have been raised after his Late Late predecessor and radio rival Kenny revealed how he had also managed to bag a chat with Mr Blair.


The veteran broadcaster gave him a grilling for Today with Pat Kenny -- before the politician went on last night's programme.

And current affairs expert Pat told the Herald it was a "pity" that his in-depth conversation would not be broadcast until Monday morning.

"You learn something from each interview and I would have learnt something new from his interview with Ryan, but it will be too late for me to do anything about it," he said. He added how it was ironic that it used to be him fronting the Late Late Show and had 'first dibs' when it came to high-profile guests.

"There's no point in repeating stuff that's already said. The shoe used to be on the other foot -- when I was on the Late Late Show and we used to get everyone first -- but it's the nature of things. When you're trying to sell a book, the Late Late Show is the perfect anchor for that," he said.


"Ryan is political junkie, he loves politics... I saw Blair before on Parkinson and he was massively entertaining and a wonderful performer."

Pat went on to say how it was his first interview with Mr Blair, despite having met his wife Cherie previously and also grilling Alastair Campbell "a dozen times" -- and said it would make for riveting listening.

"In the course of writing the book, he has anticipated everything that could be thrown his way, in terms of things like David Kelly and the war on Iraq," he said.

"He will already have thought out his position and one of the striking things about Tony Blair is that he's as bright as a button and very quick on his feet. He's mentally agile and very sure of his position when it comes to where he things on issues."