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Pat Kenny opens up about Ryan Tubridy’s move to the UK: ‘Where was he to go?’

Pat Kenny has opened up about Ryan Tubridy’s move to the UK.

Ryan moved to London after he secured a new radio gig with Virgin Radio UK, after he lost his RTÉ Radio 1 slot amidst the payments scandal.

Pat also had a 41-year high-profile career with RTÉ, before he moved to Newstalk in 2013 and began hosting The Pat Kenny Show.

Speaking to The Irish Sun about the 50-year-old’s career move, Pat said: “They had pilloried him.”

“I suppose between the (RTÉ) board and the management, they had pilloried him, even though the Grant Thornton report had vindicated him.”

“They made it virtually impossible to make it in this country.”

Credit: Brian McEvoy

“He speaks English, not French — where was he going to go?”

The 76-year-old revealed to the publication that the former Late Late Show host had “no choice” but to head across to the UK to continue his career.

When asked if he was surprised by Ryan’s move, he said: “Not at all, where was he to go?”

Ryan on Virgin Radio UK

The Newstalk host revealed that he had once received offers from the UK after he hosted the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest from Dublin.

He said: “After I did Eurovision in 1988, I had many offers.”

“I did some stuff for BSKYB, a programme called Intellect, a terrific format of a quiz show.”

“It did exactly what it said on the tin, it wasn’t like, ‘Where is Termonfeckin?’, it was more demanding.”

Pat Kenny and Michelle Rocca hosting the 1988 Eurovision

“And I did that for a season and I did some work for BBC radio, but my decision was to stay in RTÉ — that’s where I wanted to be.”

“In those days, the idea of presenting The Late Late Show was not on my horizon, but that happened.”

Ryan himself recently opened up to The Evening Edition with Kait Borsay on Times Radio, about his daunting move to the UK, and why he felt like he needed a “big change.”

The show’s host asked him: “You up sticks, leave it all behind and come to a city – and actually starting afresh is quite a thing when you’re a 50-year-old guy, right?”

Ryan confessed: “It’s a shock to the system. And it took a bit of guts.”

“But I was ready for a big change. And London was the only game in town, in some ways. And even getting this job in Virgin – it wasn’t meant to be.

“And I’m not being all mystic and cosmic. It is strange how it all works out.”

When asked about his departure from The Late Late Show, he said that he “had enough of that.”

“I loved it and a couple years after the contract I said I was running out of road on it.”

Briefly touching on the RTÉ payments scandal and his departure from the broadcaster, Ryan recalled: “And then events, dear boy, events took over which we’re not going to get into – it’s for another day…”

“But it meant that, by the time I go to the autumn, I was ready for a change and for a different direction.”



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