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Ryan's playing the long game with RTE – but he'll be back


Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Mark Condren

Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Mark Condren

Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Mark Condren

AS Ryan Tubridy heads over to the BBC again this month the usual cries of disbelief are heard across the land.

How dare he take time off from RTE! How dare this young man spend days on end talking to British listeners and leaving poor us on our own!

It is a disaster, a crime, that Ryan Tubridy actually works for someone other than the national broadcaster. Or so you'd think.

But Tubridy, whatever you think of him, can do whatever the heck he likes. He has spent the last few years popping across the water to fill in for the likes of Chris Evans, Graham Norton, and now Simon Mayo.

He slots in wherever there is a gap. And by all accounts he does a good job.

Tactically, it's a very clever game to play. RTE hates nothing more than a presenter dipping into the airwaves of another broadcaster, and even though it's in the UK, the BBC gig keeps RTE on their toes. Tubridy has a nice little threat to dangle.


Of course every year, we see stories spun of Tubridy and also Dave Fanning being asked to move over there full time. All the while we get a warm, surprised response from Tubridy himself, assuring us that he loves it here, loves the Late Late, loves his radio slot, loves loves loves everything about being with RTE.

Wise man. He smoothly glosses over the fact that he is losing listeners and leaves it in the hands of his bosses to make the decision to get rid of him.

And of course they won't get rid of him. Who would replace him?

Five years ago next month it was announced that Ryan would be the new host of the Late Late Show. It seems more like 10 years ago. We all remember the kerfuffle – would it be Gerry, Miriam or Ryan? The 36-year-old was the youngest of the three and was handed the baton.

Since then he has been a steady-as-she-goes host – you know what you are going to get.

And that, in the world of television and radio, can ensure that you will be around for a long, long time.

So as we bemoan the 2FM broadcaster's decision to try something new, to challenge himself, to up his game, we should try to remember that he always comes back. I think he does love his job here, I think his heart is in the right place.

And if the day ever comes that he does perhaps decide to give another country a proper go, I think we would truly find ourselves at a loss.