Late Late to kick off with special O'Driscoll show
BRIAN O'Driscoll is to receive the VIP treatment from RTE with a testimonial special on the Late Late Show.
O'Driscoll (34) will be one of the first of Ryan Tubridy's guests when the Friday night programme returns following a summer break.
RTE head of television Glen Killane said the prime-time show will be a success – after repeated criticism in recent years.
"We want it to come back with a bang," Mr Killane said.
Brian O'Driscoll will be joined by a host of teammates and coaches from both the Irish and Leinster rugby teams, along with family members, for the special occasion to celebrate his career to date.
Mr Killane, in an interview with the Sunday Independent, also promises a "stellar list" of guests for the new season of shows.
The Late Late Show returns on September 8.
On Pat Kenny's defection to Newstalk, Mr Killane said he was not involved in discussions in the weeks prior to Mr Kenny's shock announcement.
"I wasn't privy to that whole discussion. I was away on holidays so it wasn't really anything to do with me," he said.
He only discovered Mr Kenny was leaving the public broadcaster the day before it was announced.
Mr Killane said he did not know if Mr Kenny was unhappy or not.
"I don't know Pat that well. I have met Pat three times in my life, very, very briefly, so I couldn't tell you if he was happy or unhappy, to be honest.
"I have seen big names in this organisation, and others, come and go and the organisation keeps going.
"No one person is bigger than the organisation," Mr Killane said.
"It's a great opportunity for someone else to come along; fresh blood is always good."
Mr Killane said that Love/Hate, despite its popularity, operates at a loss for RTE.
"It doesn't wash its face commercially," he said.
"We are not in a position where that is even at break-even."