“Farewell, Tubs, we hardly knew ya.”
That’s what we’ll all be saying when Ryan Tubridy finally departs The Late Late Show studio at some point in the distant future. The presenter has been sitting at the famous RTÉ desk since 2009 and while he may not have any plans to pack up his stationery just yet, RTÉ are already planning for his departure.
That’s according to the Irish Sun, who report that Montrose bosses are lining up the show’s first ever female presenter and if the publication’s sources are anything to go by, it’ll be Claire Byrne who gets the nod.
An insider said that “Claire Byrne Live is essentially a chat show so doing the Late Late wouldn’t be so different. Under Gay Byrne the Late Late was a forum and catalyst for national conversation but in recent years the show has moved more towards celebrity chat.”
While the Laois woman is seen as the ideal candidate, there appears to be one thing that might put a spanner in the works – her age. The source added: “If he (Tubridy) does another five or seven years, that could change things again. Claire would be hitting 50. And because RTE are obsessed with the youth audience, it means someone like Angela Scanlon, who’s in her mid-30s now, could be a contender.”
Claire Byrne is currently 43, two years younger than Ryan, and if this information is to be believed, she’ll be hoping he hangs up the mic sooner rather than later.
However, given that Gay Byrne left the show at 64, both presenters are surely in the prime of their careers. Some awkward conversations in the RTÉ canteen lie ahead.