herald

Thursday 30 October 2014

Tubridy has got it right, says Kenny

PAT Kenny wishes he was more like Ryan Tubridy.

It's not a statement you might expect to read, but the former Late Late Show host believes that his protege is doing the right thing by double-jobbing with RTE and BBC.

Kenny has said he will now be working into his late sixties rather than retiring, because he needs the money.

The broadcaster, who turns 65 on January 29, is set to take on a big role with current affairs programme Prime Time.

"The whole business of being a broadcaster is about bringing what you do to as many people as possible," Kenny said.

"There were a lot of offers after Eurovision. Looking back, I should have spent more time in the UK doing other projects."

Career

His replacement on the Late Late Show, Ryan Tubridy, has attracted significant attention because of his role as a fill-in DJ on BBC radio.

And Kenny says that he could have followed a similar route.

"I've a small regret that I didn't build a two-pronged career over there."

He went on to describe how retirement is not in the pipeline because of his financial situation. Despite being one of RTE's best-paid presenters, he said: "It's been a bloodbath and there are no guaranteed pensions when you are a freelancer.

"You do try to invest in things, but virtually everything has been destroyed to some extent; the only things that remain intact are pensions backed by the state.

"I still have children in full-time education, so there is no way of me taking off to Florida."

In fact, things are about to get even busier as his Frontline programme is subsumed into Prime Time.

Kenny also suggested that some politicians are "too scared" to appear on the Frontline.

"I always felt that the show it replaced, Questions and Answers, let panellists pontificate. There really wasn't much engagement between the panel and the audience. In my case, I couldn't have done Frontline without presenting The Late Late Show because that gave me the confidence to deal with a live audience."

kdoyle@herald.ie

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