Late Late debut – Kielty did what he does best and delivered humorous digs at RTÉ

by Rose Barrett
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Laughter really was the best medicine for limping employers

He first appeared on the Late Late Show with the late Gay Byrne in 1992 but last night, Patrick Kielty burst onto our screens as the new face of Ireland’s leading chat show.

And he delivered with super smart and slick humour aimed at his employers, RTÉ and his predecessor, Ryan Tubridy.

Following an embarrassing few months for the national broadcaster which seems to have swapped places with Tubridy in the popularity stakes, that is RTÉ especially its former board, moved to the lead role of unpopular villains after the appearance of the former RTÉ TV and radio presenter and his agent Noel Kelly before several Oireachtas committees. Despite the decision not to renew Tubridy’s radio contract, there’s still a begrudging respect and affection for him with his former audiences.

Host Patrick Kielty pictured with Hector Ó hEochagáin, Laurita Blewitt and Tommy Tiernan, just some of his guests last night on his debut performance as host of the Late Late Show

So, who were Kielty’s guests for his debut show – a few reliable and Late Late regulars, among them Tommy Tiernan, Mary McAleese, Hector Ó hEochagáin and Laurita Blewitt, and The 2 Johnniessave for the former President, a fair ol’ dollop of comics in one way or another!

So, who was the surprise guest, and presumably, a big celebrity? James McClean, a fellow Northern Ireland personality and clearly, Kielty and McClean bounced off each other with ease.

When the focus all week re the Irish national soccer team was on the retention of Stephen Kenny as manager, not having yet shown any great success, McClean (above) who won his 100th cap for the Republic of Ireland earlier this week, and his second only time to captain the squad, he proved popular with the audience and the home viewers.

A big hug for Patrick Kielty last night from fellow comic and seasoned presenter Tommy Tiernan Picture Andres Poveda

There can be no similarity between Gaybo or Tubs or Kielty’s performance last night and the new presenter worked hard to overcome RTÉ’s difficulty by meeting the storm face on, firing it right back out there, and masking it in humour and ridicule.

But next week and the week after will be the bigger test when there won’t be any need to refer to the tumultuous few weeks of the national broadcaster.

Pictures Andres Poveda

And we shall see the backbone of Kielty’s and his ability to make the show his own. So far, the force is with him but as we’ve seen before, Irish audiences can be a fickle lot. Let’s just wait and see, one down and it’s all thumbs up so far.

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