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Ryan has to fly solo and do well - Kenny

VETERAN broadcaster Pat Kenny came out in support of Ian Dempsey today over remarks indicating that Ryan Tubridy still has to prove himself on radio.

Speaking to the Herald, Kenny said that Tubridy in some people's eyes still has to demonstrate that he is "up there" as an equal with Gay Byrne and the late Gerry Ryan.

Pat Kenny said he agreed with remarks made by broadcaster Ian Dempsey that Ryan Tubridy had been "handed a huge audience" because his programme followed Morning Ireland.

In an wide-ranging interview with Hot Press magazine, Dempsey said Tubridy's move to 2fm meant he was now "exposed" without those two big programmes bolstering listener numbers.

Dempsey said that Tubridy was "very fresh" years ago when he hosted the 2fm breakfast show 'The Full Irish', but now he is "an established part of the institution" of RTE.



Demonstrate

Today, Pat Kenny told the Herald: "Ian made a valid point. Ryan now has to fly solo. He will have to plough his own furrow. He must still demonstrate in the eyes of some that he is up there with Gerry and Gay.

"He has to fly solo and do really well. A lot of people are saying what Ian is saying. I'm not wanting to diss a colleague but this is Ryan's big chance to make it. He has shown that he can successfully pilot the Late Late Show and that is a difficult ship to pilot."

Kenny added that Ian Dempsey really could not make direct comparisons between Gay Byrne and Gerry Ryan because they were from two different generations of broadcasters.

"It's like trying to say who was the better hurler -- Henry Shefflin or Eddie Keher.

"Gay was at the height of his powers when Gerry was beginning. Gerry reached the height of his own powers later.

Kenny also paid tribute to Ian Dempsey and Gerry Ryan as being the building blocks of 2fm.

aokeeffe@herald.ie