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The only way I'll get top tv jobs is when Gaybo is dead said Gerry in last interview

Gerry Ryan joked that he hoped pal Gay Byrne would die -- because that was the only way he could land more high profile jobs.

The 2fm star (53), who had worked on a number of popular TV shows prior to his death last April, revealed his desire for a more successful presenting career, and felt that Gaybo was the only man standing in his way.

The former Late Late Show host landed the coveted gig on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Gerry admitted that he was seething with jealousy at missing out on the opportunity to present.

"I'd love to have presented it because I think with my love of silence and suspense, it must have been a terrific show to present," he said. "I always used to think, 'Pity Gay's not dead, because then I'd stand a shot of actually doing it'.

"I used to sit there thinking, 'Please Gay, just die, because I'm never going to get any of the shows I like'."

Gerry also admitted that he was protected by his friends in the industry, who cushioned him from harsh truths.

"Bill O'Donovan, who was controller of 2fm, used to tell me the board and the editorial, corporate people thought I was a genius," he said. "Nothing could have been further from the truth, but it gave me the space to develop as a presenter."

He explained that his wife Morah had even tried to protect him from the scathing criticism by cutting negative reviews from newspapers and hiding them away.

Although he was one of the most famous faces in the country, he said he hated being a guest on the Late Late Show.

But when he was asked to present for one night as a replacement for Pat Kenny, who mother had just died, he jumped at the chance.

"I remember instantly going, 'Yeah'. God forgive me, I never asked has Pat died or what happened there," he said.

Ryan also said that at 53 years old, he felt it was time for someone who was younger and edgier to step into his shoes.

Gerry Ryan: The Last Interview will air on TV3 on March 30 at 9pm.