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Tributes have been pouring in all across Ireland since news of Gay Byrne’s death broke earlier today. The RTÉ broadcaster died at the age of 85 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

A special live edition of The Late Late Show in tribute to Gay Byrne will air tomorrow night, RTÉ confirmed. The moving live show will air on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.

The former host of The Late Late Show has been honoured by the show’s current host, Ryan Tubridy.

Ryan paid tribute to his mentor and fellow Late Late host in an emotional statement.


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He wrote, “It is with enormous and profound sadness that I heard of the passing of my friend and mentor, Gay Byrne. 

“He was the master, a once off and the likes of which we will never see again. I watched him as a child, worked alongside him as a young man and he guided me as I grew older and I will forever be indebted to him.”


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He added, “We in RTÉ have lost a friend, a family have lost a father and a husband and the country has lost an icon. May he rest in peace."

Gay Byrne was the first ever host of The Late Late Show. In the late 1960’s, he returned to Ireland as presenter and producer of The Late Late Show. The programme went on to become the world’s longest running chat show.

Gay Byrne presented his final daily radio show in 1998 and his final Late Late Show the following summer.

Gay is survived by his wife Kathleen, their daughters Crona and Suzy, and their families.

The special live edition of The Late Late Show in tribute to Gay Byrne airs tomorrow, Tuesday night at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.



Gay Byrne has passed away at the age of 85, RTÉ has confirmed. 

RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, today paid tribute to Mr. Byrne: “We are all greatly saddened by the passing of Gay Byrne who has been a household name in this country for so many years. Gay was an exceptional broadcaster whose unique and ground-breaking style contributed so much to the development of radio and television in this country.

"Gay’s journalistic legacy is as colossal as the man himself – he not only defined generations, but he deftly arbitrated the growth and development of a nation. Ireland grew up under Gay Byrne, and we will never see his like again. My deepest sympathies to Kathleen and his family.”

Born in Dublin on August 5, 1934, Gay Byrne grew up on the South Circular Road. He started work as a newsreader and continuity announcer on Radio Éireann in the late 1950's before moving to Granada Television in Manchester, where he worked on a variety of shows, interviewing acts including The Beatles.

For a time he commuted between Dublin and UK, working for both the BBC and RTÉ, but came back to Ireland full time in the late 1960’s as presenter and producer of The Late Late Show. The programme went on to become the world’s longest running chat show.

Gay Byrne also presented a long-running radio show on RTÉ Radio 1, first known as The Gay Byrne Hour and then The Gay Byrne Show. The show had a close relationship with its listeners, many of whom wrote to or phoned Gay to comment on the issues of the day, and with their own stories. He won a Jacob’s Award for the programme in 1976.


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Over his long career Gay presented The Rose of Tralee, The Calor Housewife of the Year competition, as well as a range of special programmes. Gay Byrne presented his final daily radio show in 1998 and his final Late Late Show the following summer. However he did not retire from public life, becoming the chairman of the Road Safety Authority and presenting other acclaimed television shows, including The Meaning of Life.

Gay also returned to his first love –  radio – and presented Sunday with Gay Byrne. His loyal listenership on RTÉ lyric fm shared in his love of big band and jazz programme.

Gay is survived by his wife Kathleen, their daughters Crona and Suzy, and their families.


Yesterday, fans of Gay Byrne were saddened to learn that the legendary broadcaster is facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Making the candid announcement on his Lyric FM radio show on Sunday afternoon, the former Late Late Show host revealed that he will be absent from the programme next week because he is expected in hospital to undergo a series of tests.

Last night, the 82-year-old offered The Irish Sun a glimpse at how he intends to cope with his health concerns when he told the paper he has no option but to maintain a positive outlook.

“You don’t have any choice but to have a positive outlook,” said Gaybo.  “You have to have the best outlook possible.”

“You have to remember there are a huge collection of fellas who have survived prostate cancer.  They all survived and are doing well and why couldn’t that apply to me?”

Discussing his decision to make the news public, the father of two said he wanted stop the production of rumours.


“I just made the announcement because I wouldn’t be doing the show next week and to stop the rumours starting that I was dead or gone.”

He explained that doctors think he has “a little cancer of the prostate” but admitted that they won’t know for sure until the end of next week.


Feat image: RTÉ


Legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne has told his RTÉ Lyric FM show listeners that he is suffering from cancer.

On the show, he said he will "not be with listeners next week.

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"I shall not be with our listeners on this day next week. Have to go to hospital this week…They think they may have discovered a bit of cancer in the prostate and they think it may have moved up into my back," said the 82-year-old.

"I've had the most wonderful, fantastic, robust, good health all my broadcasting life.

"It's my turn now … Many, many people much worse off. Thank you for your good wishes," Gay added.

Our thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time.


Most of us grew up knowing that when it came to Irish icons, Gay Byrne wasn't far off it. 

Whether it was hearing his radio show on days off school, waiting on the Tayto and Club Orange you got once The Late Late kicked off on a Friday night or giving The Meaning of Life a cursory glance as an adult, Uncle Gaybo has been with us every step of the way.

So, it's probably no surprise that when Tallaght-born comedian, Al Porter, was offered some sage advice from the man himself, he grabbed it with both hands.

Speaking to RSVP, Al revealed that Gay had suggested he ditch the booze during performances after seeing the young comedian struggle to keep up after downing pints.

"I had a beer on stage with me at the gig and I was drinking the beer and the audience started to cheer, 'down it, 'down it' and I did. I had told a guy on the crew when I finished  my pint to put another one at the side of the stage," Al recalled.

"He put one out and the audience thought it was a joke so they started to say 'down it, down it'. So, for the craic, I downed that one too and for the next couple of jokes, I had to suppress getting sick on stage," he admitted.

Explaining that the situation hadn't escaped Gay, Al said: "Nobody really noticed, but Gay did. He told me he loved the show, but then said, 'Don't drink on stage, it's not professional and I don't like it. You are in control, not the audience.'"

And, according to Al, he's been on the water ever since.

Mr. Byrne? You job here is done.



If anyone has the right to weigh in on a discussion surrounding The Late Late Show , it's the man who brought it to our screens in 1962 and fronted it for the next 37 years, right?

And it doesn't sound like veteran broadcaster, Gay Byrne, is at all happy with talk that the long-running RTÉ show is due a major revamp 

Despite ratings being at an all-time low given the rising popularity of RTÉ player, Gay insists it' should be the last thing on the mind of new director general, Dee Forbes.

"I can tell you there would be a lot more important matters on the plate of an incoming RTÉ director general than sorting out The Late Late Show."

"I would be a rich man if I had a penny for every time somebody announced The Late Late Show was on the way out, or in trouble, or going down the plughole," he added.

Reminding those who have recently slammed the quality of the show that little can be done to overhaul its standard template, 81-year-old Gay insisted: "How could RTE revamp a chat show?"

"A chat show is a chat show. It does what it says on the tin," he blasted. "The idea of revamping The Late Late Show is plain ridiculous."

Look, if Uncle Gaybo says it's graaand, then it's graaand.

Feat image: RTÉ


Beloved RTE presenter and bona fide national treasure Gay Byrne is currently residing in the hospital following a heart attack yesterday.

According to a statement released by RTE, the 81-year-old personality is said to be recovering well but the family are looking for privacy at this time. 

"All his friends and colleagues across RTE are thinking of him and wish him all the best with his recovery."

Gay, who is a popular figure in Irish television, suffered another worrying health scare in 2011. 

He was rushed to hospital at the time when he was finding it difficult to breathe properly but made a full recovery. 

We hope he makes an equally full and speedy recovery this time round.