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Joe to tell of heartache over pal Gerry on Late Late

Joe Duffy is gearing up to appear on the Late Late show this Friday.

The Liveline host -- who is launching his highly anticipated autobiography this week -- has been revealed as one of the top guests on Ryan Tubridy's show.

Duffy will discuss a range of subjects surrounding his lengthy reign at RTE with his colleague Tubridy, as he takes the hot seat on the late-night programme.

The Liveline star's memoir Just Joe reveals intimate details about the popular anchor's difficult home life, his rough upbringing and personal life -- including a heartfelt account of his long-term pal Gerry Ryan.

Duffy (55) devotes an entire chapter to the last days of his friend, speaking of the pressures he and other RTE stars were under to take pay cuts in recent years, as well as opening up about Gerry's untimely death in 2010

"I knew Gerry was absent that day but I had gone over to the desk at noon, as I normally did, to leave a copy of that day's Herald in his drawer, as it had an especially nice photo of his wife, Morah, and their five children, taken at a movie premiere the previous night," he tells of the tragic day he discovered the 53-year-old had died at his Leeson Street pad.

Duffy continues about the inquest that followed and revealed that his line manager Tom Maguire called into his office two days before results of the toxicology report were announced, to tell him "drink, prescription tablets and cocaine" would feature in the details of circumstances for Ryan's death.

Readers will learn from the book that while Montrose colleagues were told cocaine would appear in the inquest, Ryan's partner Melanie Verwoerd only found out during the hearing itself.



worry

Duffy has also told of his "insecurity and worry" at being told by bosses at the Montrose broadcaster that he was not entitled to sick pay after a leg operation.

"In my 23 years in RTE, I only took one single day off sick prior to being knocked down, so I thought the decision to refuse me sick pay was unfair, to say the least."

Duffy recalls the day, April 9, 2009, when he was hit by a reversing Fiat Punto outside Gilbert Library in Pearse Street and his right leg was severely damaged and was "literally swinging freely from below the knee".

As a result of the incident, bones of the tibia and fibula were "snapped in two" and the personality required major operations on the injury.

The Ballyfermot-native is to enjoy a launch party hosted by RTE veteran Gay Byrne, and will then prepare to greet followers on Saturday at O'Connell Street's Easons book store, to sign copies of the book for fans.

See Gerry O'Carroll Page 27