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The Late, Late Gets a New Host

Ryan Tubridy will host the Late, Late Show.

Admittedly, having caught him on Newstalk this morning, I’m not as ticked as I was last night. He actually came across as charming, sincere and a genuinely nice guy. On the other hand, he comes across as a bit of a gombeen on his Saturday night show, though something about the faux-Americana vibe just rubs me the wrong way.

Hopefully if someone can talk him out of bringing the house band – I love the Quartet, but they don’t suit a primetime talk show – and convince him that “poor man’s Conan O’Brien” is not a great design style, then he might do well. I attended a filming of the show a few year back and Tuberty worked well off camera. He was witty and charming, but the moment the camera hit somehow that charm became smarm. I hear he’s much better on the radio, but I’m in work, so I can’t listen.

So, maybe if he’s the only member of staff carried over from Saturday night it could work. He rightly points out that Gay Byrne had relatively little current affairs experience before he took the job (he worked behind-the-scenes in Britain), and we all know how that turned out. So maybe this constantly upwardly-mobile favourite son can pull it off. The Late, Late really needs a good, challenging host after a stale few years. Maybe Tubridy’s change we can believe in.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment, but will be watching very closely.