Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Gay Byrne: I’m just sorry I didn’t quit the show sooner

He did what he had to do and he did it with aplomb, but Pat Kenny is right to bow out, believes Gay Byrne

So what's all the mystery about? Pat is retiring from The Late Late Show.

Simply because there comes a time in the life of every man and woman — whether TV presenter, accountant, cabinet-maker or sportsman (in whose case the time comes a little sooner) — when they wonder how long more they've got.

Not in terms of the job, but in terms of life. And whether, no matter how long they think that might be, they want to spend it still doing whatever they've been doing for most of their lives.

I have consistently said that one of the many regrets I have in life is that I didn't retire from The Late Late Show and The GB Show five years earlier. Which is precisely what Pat is doing, at, in my opinion, precisely the right time, so he can give a little more time to himself and his family and experience what most people take for granted, a free weekend.

A radio show five days a week and a television show on Fridays makes for a punishing schedule: early mornings followed by a full office day, to which is added all the extraneous bits and pieces and functions which are expected of you: interviewing an actor? — got to see the play. Interviewing a movie-star? — got to see the movie. An author? — got to read the book. A researcher can do a lot of work for you, but there are things you've got to cover yourself and that takes time. On top of which there are the charity presentations and other calls made upon you.

Pat is going to be broadcasting for a long time to come, for he is superb and he took on a daunting task and saw it through with distinction and honour.

I am not going to get into the conjecture game on his Late Late Show replacement, for to mention one name is to offend the others.

But as Tom McGrath, the progenitor of the show, would say: it's not brain surgery, it's a television talk-show, there'll be another one round tomorrow.

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