Ryan Tubridy has revealed he wants to make the Late Late Show even better – so has handed himself over to Gay Byrne to tutor.
The RTE star met up with the legendary former Late Late host, who presented it for 37 years, for advice on how to be better at the helm.
And Tubridy – who knows the chat show can be “taken from you” – also plans to watch non-stop interviews of his own and others to boost his presenting ability.
“I will definitely do another year – I’ll go for as long as they’ll have me,” he told Goss.ie. “For as long as it feels right. As you know with a show like the Late Late, it can be taken from you and given to you.
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“But I had a very, very long and informative meal with Gay Byrne two weeks ago. Because he’s a member of that tiny, tiny club of Late Late Show presenters. And I would meet Pat occasionally.
“But me and Gay sat down, and I just wanted to ask him for a few tips about things. And he was brilliant. He did it once more for me before, when I first got a TV gig, which was the Rose of Tralee.
“And this time – I’ve done five years of the Late Late – I just felt it was time to reflect. I’ve got a lot of work to do this summer on honing my act.
“I’m going to be doing a lot of watching of interviews and things down through the years – at home and abroad. I just want to up my game for the autumn. I think I’d like to do that.”
Sadness: Tubridy missed Gerry
And the 41-year-old admitted he felt lost that former pal Gerry Ryan wasn’t there to also help him out, given he was “one of the normal ones – compared to everyone else”.
He added: “Gerry was always great at pulling us all together and would say, ‘We’ll all go out’. They would drink whiskey, which I hate, but we’d have a few jars.
“So I miss him. But Lottie’s here – I always think his spirit is alive there – but it’s always a bit poignant. We think about him.
“But don’t forget, we pass him every day on the wall on the way to the studio, there’s a nice portrait of him.”
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But 2FM star Ryan feels happy to have been given a chance to swat up – especially given he was a “mediocre student” back in the day – and take a break from the “relentless” Late Late hosting.
“I’m in great form because there’s no Late Late Show at the moment – so that takes about 10 years off me,” he said.
“You forget how much of a beast it is, it’s relentless. I find myself with just the radio show, which is great.
“Then I have the day to myself by and large – but I’ve been nurturing a Junior Cert student at home. So that’s been a struggle. I feel like today I’ve just finished my Junior Cert.”
And Tubridy – if he follows his own advice – will be taking it slightly handy after telling daughter Ella to do the same with the Junior Cert.
Interview: Our man Sam with Tubs
“My thing is just about keeping the sanity. You want to watch a movie? Watch it,” he said. “There’s too much pressure, so I just said go at your own pace. Not a total free for all, so I just kept a watching eye.”
Now Tubs will also be spending his summer writing a children’s book on Irish history, which is “only started”.
“It’s coming along very well. I can’t get into too many details because it’s early but that’s going to be my summer hobby, putting that together,” he said at the 2FM schedule launch.
“It’s gone a completely different route than I expected – they asked me to look into a particular piece of history that is of interest to me, for kids.
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“Not like Horrible Historys, I wish it was, but it probably will be a horrible history but unfortunately in a different context. It’s nice to do that.
“I love kids from working with them from the Toy Show and I have a couple – and I like the presence of them anyway – so to write a book for them would be lovely.”