herald

Thursday 27 November 2014

Ryan to bring his own team to the Late Late as Pat's people finish up

Ryan Tubridy will start his term as the host of the Late Late Show with a new team of cherry-picked staff.

The Herald has learned that contracts expired for the majority of former Late Late show employees when the season ended last May. But they can apply to be part of the new team.

Interviews for research and production posts have already taken place for the vacant positions and those who will be returning to their jobs in the autumn have been notified. It is believed that a number of the staff who worked on Ryan's popular Saturday night series Tubridy Tonight are among those in the mix.

However, RTÉ representatives have declined to reveal any details about the final line-up.

Happy

"RTE has a policy of not making any comment on specific queries about human resources matters," a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did confirm, however, that a number of people on last year's production team were let go after Pat Kenny's farewell episode in May.

According to the spokesperson: "In general, fixed-term production contracts are standard within the industry and in terms of The Late Late Show, at the end of the last season, as with every season, those on fixed-term contracts concluded."

Meanwhile, former executive producer Larry Masterson, who worked on the RTÉ show for four years alongside Pat Kenny, confirmed he will not be returning to the new show.

"I'm not coming back," he told the Herald. "I've done four years on the Late Late Show and I'm perfectly happy to move on.

Ratings

"I'm working on Saturday night with Miriam now and really enjoying it, it's extremely popular and has very impressive ratings," he added.

Larry was adamant the decision to leave the popular show had been his own and says he is looking forward to taking on his next project.

The experienced producer has starting looking into a number of possibilities once Miriam O'Callaghan's summer chat show ends its current run.

But he said he has yet to confirm anything definite.

Deal

"It's time for me to move on to the next challenge. End of story.

"I'm considering a few options but nothing's been confirmed yet. I'm concentrating on one thing at a time," he added.

The Late Late Show is due to return to the airwaves with a special opening show at the end of August with the national broadcaster currently negotiating a sponsorship deal that will see a brand associated with the long-running chat show.

Television bosses are believed to have put a price of more than €1.2m on the new face of the programme, Ryan Tubridy.

hnews@herald.ie

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