1.6m tuned in for Tubridy 'Late Late'

Tue, Sep 8, 2009, 01:00

MORE THAN a million people tuned in on Friday night to watch new Late Late Showhost Ryan Tubridy’s interview with Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

In total, about 1.6 million tuned in at some stage of the programme, making it the most watched Late Late Show, outside the toy show, since Gay Byrne’s retirement in May 1999.

Overall, the programme had an average of 927,000 people watching and a massive audience share of 62 per cent – the same, coincidentally, that Pat Kenny had when he made his debut as presenter in September 1999.

Tubridy also interviewed pop star Brian McFadden, who spoke at length about his relationship with his ex-wife Kerry Katona, the veteran actor Joan Collins, Niall Quinn and his wife Gillian, and Cherie Blair, the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Tubridy said it was “easily” the biggest audience of his career. “I was very pleased with that result. It is a testament to the hard work that went on behind the scenes for the biggest professional night of my life.” He spoke at the launch of a campaign yesterday to promote Irish radio – to which, for the first time, more than three million listeners tune in. The “Choose Radio” campaign is being jointly run by the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and RTÉ Radio.

“It is good to know that in this age of digital television and serious competition, this reliable friend that is the Late Late Showis still operating business as usual,” said Tubridy.

He added that he never bothered about the critical reaction to the show, although, in the main, it was favourable.

“I think that now when we have the figures, we can say that the show went well.”

Tubridy said he would not have changed a second of his show, especially the interview with the Taoiseach, who, he pointed out, was pleased with how it went.

“I wasn’t out to get the Taoiseach. He gave a very robust account of himself. I thought he came out of it better than he went into it. That is testament to some tough questions and some admirable answers. I thought it was good all round.”