Belfast Telegraph

Star-studded send-off as Late Late presenter steps down

By Maureen Coleman

Rock supergroup U2 are among the guests being tipped to give broadcaster Pat Kenny a send-off when he ends his run as The Late Late Show presenter tonight.

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne is also expected to join the line-up of stars bidding 61-year-old Kenny a fond farewell as his 10-year run fronting the show comes to an end.

RTE has remained tight-lipped about this week’s line-up, but insiders are predicting that Bono and the boys will make an appearance and even perform their new single.

U2 were due to appear on the Late Late Show a few weeks ago to promote Magnificent, the latest single from their No Line On The Horizon album. But it's understood they agreed to postpone that appearance to feature in Kenny's grand exit.

When Gay Byrne retired from the show 10 years ago Bono and Larry Mullen turned up in the studios and presented him with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. But there is no indication, so far, as to whether the band is preparing a major gift for Kenny.

Others set to appear on the last show before Ryan Tubridy takes over will be comedian Pat Shortt, singer Imelda May and pop manager Louis Walsh, along with Westlife members.

Organisers have managed to keep a lid on the identities of other celebrity guests, with a couple of Hollywood stars tipped to be on the list.

During his 10-year tenure Kenny has attracted some of the biggest names in showbiz, sport and politics onto his show, including former DUP leader Dr Ian Paisley and wife Eileen.

Ian Paisley Jnr, who was also a guest on his show, said Kenny was “a true gent” who knew how to make the interviewee the subject of the story.

And he said he’d be sorry to see him go.

“He was an excellent broadcaster, the perfect host, who knew how to get the best out of his subject matter,” he said.

“Some presenters become more famous than the guests but Pat always managed to make the guest the story.

“He was very skilled as a presenter and interviewer and a real gent as well and my dad thought so too.”

Other famous faces quizzed by Kenny included supermodel Elle McPherson, Hollywood legend Paul Newman, former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane, singers Sinead O’Connor and Andrea Corr, chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson and Take That.

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