Ryan Tubridy has said his 50th birthday next year will influence his decision on whether to continue as presenter of RTÉ’s Late Late Show.
The channel was speaking ahead of its 14th year presenting the Friday night show. He took over the job after his predecessor Pat Kenny retired in 2009 after 10 years. The late Gay Byrne had previously spent 35 years at the helm.
“I’ll be 50 in May and that’s important. That’s going to feed into my thought process,” Tubridy said at the launch of RTÉ’s new season.
“This is my 14th year. I did it five years later Tubridy tonight So, yeah, I think I’ll keep an eye on everything for the next few years. It won’t be today or tomorrow, so I’m not going anywhere yet. But I don’t see a decade in it.”
Although he said he was “hungry” to continue presenting this season, “I think if the hunger stops it’s game over. I’m still ambitious. The show is still important to me. I also have to prove myself a little more. I think I can do a little bit better and I hope to do that this season.”
But he said the pandemic made him re-evaluate his life: “It gave me a pause for thought. I don’t want to run on a treadmill as a much older person. I want to enjoy life as much as now. And when I’m done on that Late Late Show I will pursue other projects. I play myself board game tricks of what they could be, but it’s all dreamland. I don’t want to be older and burned out. I want to be even older and more excited.”
Reflecting on Gay Byrne’s admission that he wished he’d spent more time with his family, Tubridy said his work is a “joy” but “it comes at a price”.
“Gays worked so hard. He gave so much of himself in a way that I didn’t. I suppose he was lucky there weren’t cellphones in his day so he was free when he was free,” Tubridy said.
“But when I’m free, I’m still on. And that’s a risk of the job. I roll with it It’s alright off the radar and you’ll become, I hope, this lovable relic.”
Of the way the pandemic has changed him, he said the enforced social distancing has made him “more comfortable in my own company.”
When lockdown came, he said “he would end that Late Late Show on a Friday and there was no beer and no green space. I would go home and have a few beers – Heaney or Kinnegar – and I would hear Fiachna Ó Braonáin on the radio – the most beautiful voice playing great Irish music – and think about it all. And in all my days, I never thought I’d be able to. I thought I was going crazy in my own company. But I was like, ‘Ah, that’s nice’ and I slowed down.”
Meanwhile, he also addressed the point that interviewers need to exercise caution when asking questions in a politically correct world. “Probably. This is the current climate we live in. How long will it last? It will last [until] people get bored. It will last as long as people feel the answers become cleaner and people can no longer be themselves. I think viewers, listeners and readers will eventually say, “Enough. We want people to be themselves. Please stop censoring and sanitizing.’”
In April, Tubridy ended up in hot water when he asked him Derry girls Actress Jamie Lee-O’Donnell her age, a question she found “misogynistic.” The 30-year-old, who plays teenager Michelle on the sitcom, claimed Tubridy would not have asked a male actor the same question.
This weekend he said: “I think if you’re an interviewer [the question is] you can go to sleep at night knowing that you asked every question fairly, with good reason, and without malice, and—if you can—you can sleep soundly. And I sleep soundly.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ryan-tubridy-im-not-going-anywhere-yet-but-i-dont-see-another-10-years-on-the-late-late-for-me-41942004.html Ryan Tubridy: “I’m not going anywhere yet, but I don’t see another 10 years at Late Late for me”