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Ryan Tubridy and RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes at the launch of RTÉ's new season today. Sam Boal

'It won't be today or tomorrow': Ryan Tubridy suggests he has no plans to leave the Late Late

Tubridy said he knows his time in the hot seat is finite.

RYAN TUBRIDY SAYS he’ll probably leave his presenting role on The Late Late Show before RTÉ management tell him that his time is up.

The world’s second-longest running late-night talk show is gearing up for its 61st season and Tubridy suggested today that he’ll be at the helm for several more years to come.

Speaking at the launch of RTÉ’s new season today, Tubridy reflected on his 14 years in the role, noting that his predecessors, Gay Byrne and Pat Kenny, served as the programme’s host for 37 years and 10 years , respectively.

“There will come a time, it’s going to be finite. Truthfully, it’s not in my hands, in some ways. I’ll get a tap on the shoulder saying ‘you’ve had your fun, get out’,” he told reporters.

Am I waiting for that tap on the shoulder? No. Will I go before the tap on the shoulder comes? Most likely. When will that be? I’ll tell you another day. But it won’t be today or tomorrow.

Tubridy, who turns 50-years-old next May, said the milestone birthday does weigh on his mind somewhat, but not in a negative way.

“50 is a different prospect altogether, because you stop giving a damn really about what people think of you. You don’t really take on board bullshit and you just live your life as you want it – as long as you’re kind and civil, if you can be both those things. That’s kind of the credo,” the broadcaster said.

Toy Show

The presenter revealed that planning is also well under way for this year’s Late Late Toy Show, with the programme’s theme and two songs already selected.

He noted that the rising cost of living means the upcoming winter will be a very difficult time for many people in Ireland and the show hopes to reflect that reality while also helping as much as it can.

“I think people are going to be suffering economically and they’re going to need the most beautiful, enormous hug as families on the couch.

“They’re going to be worried about their kids. Affordability – whether that’s toys or clothes or shopping trolleys full of food. It’s going to be a tough time.

So, what do we do? We respond by reflecting people’s needs back. I think the watch words will be: Nostalgia. Christmas. Family. Love. Joy.

RTÉ’s financing has been under the microscope for several years now. Director general Dee Forbes said the national broadcaster was facing “urgent and substantial financial challenges” in 2018 and a raft of job and pay cuts were announced in 2019.

However, Tubridy said the flagship Friday night entertainment show has been immune to the budget issues thanks to healthy support from long-running sponsors Renault and ad revenue.

“We have an amazing sponsor that pays a lot of money into the organisation. The advertising during each part of the show is immense. The Late Late Show makes a lot of money for RTÉ. So, I would hope that that translates into production means and ways. So, I think we’re okay in that department. Luckily,” Tubridy said.

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