herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

'Gay and Gerry were like family to me' - Tubs

The Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy has spoken of his sadness at the death of iconic broadcaster Gay Byrne
The Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy has spoken of his sadness at the death of iconic broadcaster Gay Byrne

RTE presenter Ryan Tubridy has compared the death of Gay Byrne to losing Gerry Ryan nine years ago.

The Late Late Show frontman said that last week's passing of the legendary broadcaster reminded him in a lot of ways of when the 2FM radio star died in 2010.

"I'm feeling that very much because Gerry was like a bold brother and Gay was like a godfather, and I don't mean that in a mafia sense," he told the Herald.

"I mean it in the sense that he'd sit you down and say, 'what do you need in terms of advice' and so on.

"They were two dear friends and mentors to me."

Grief

Tubridy admitted it was important to "plough on" when times were tough and deal with grief privately while in a public role.

"Look it's happened before in life, that when you're a public figure and grief comes into your world, anyone knows what it's like," he said.

"You have to go to work whether you're working behind a counter somewhere or whether you're working on TV, that's the nature of grief.

"You plough on, you surround yourself with gorgeous people in work and in home, and that takes the pain out of it."

The RTE Radio One presenter added: "I didn't lose somebody from my family but it felt like a profound loss to me. I think Irish people are feeling it as much as anyone else."

Asked what he reckons Gay would have made of all the tributes paid to him after his sad death at his home in Howth on November 4, he said he imagined he would have been "suitably embarrassed and humbled".

"But part of him would have made his way through at least one Jameson thinking, 'I did all right' and he deserved it all," he added.

"He's been this constant presence in all of our lives. He's always been there and something is missing now. As a country, we're down a man. We're reduced a little bit."

Tubridy had the unenviable task of presenting a Late Late Show special the day after Gaybo died and he said it was "like a national wake".

"It was about bringing Gay back into the room," he said.

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