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Patrick Kielty: Hosting The Late Late is 'next level'

Patrick Kielty in Late Late Show mode. Picture by Matt Crockett
Patrick Kielty in Late Late Show mode. Picture by Matt Crockett Patrick Kielty in Late Late Show mode. Picture by Matt Crockett

CO DOWN comedian Patrick Kielty says that hosting RTÉ's The Late Late Show is "on a completely different level" to any other programme he has fronted over the years.

This evening, Mr Kielty (52) will present his first episode of RTÉ's flagship Friday night talk show, having been announced as its new host back in May.

Speaking to The Irish News during promotion for his new Northern Ireland-set and shot film, Ballywalter, which is released on September 22, Mr Kielty said that the Late Late "is on a completely different level, in terms of it being an 'institution' and all those things."

Read more: Patrick Kielty: From Dundrum to the Late Late Show and everything in between

When asked how he was feeling about finally making his Late Late debut following months of build-up and speculation, including the controversial departure of former Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy from the Irish national broadcaster in the wake of a scandal involving its undeclared payments to the presenter, the Dundrum-born man admitted it was "exciting" to finally get started.


"There's been so much noise flying around, but it's now getting to a way more familiar part of the gig," he said, "which is still slightly terrifying – but exciting."


Mr Kielty also revealed that he had not sought advice from other high-level Irish chat show hosts, such as Graham Norton and Tommy Tiernan, on how best to approach the job.

"With something like this, I just don't think you can ring anybody," he said.

"I kind of weirdly think you have to just do your own show – and then, once you've got one under your belt, maybe you can talk to other people and sort of compare notes."

Read more:

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Patrick Kielty makes his eagerly anticipated debut on The Late Late Show tonight
Patrick Kielty makes his eagerly anticipated debut on The Late Late Show tonight Patrick Kielty makes his eagerly anticipated debut on The Late Late Show tonight

The London-based comedian was also remaining tight-lipped when asked about what changes he might be bringing to the long-running chat show.

"Look, naturally these things change and evolve just by the fact that there's someone different sitting in the chair," said Mr Kielty.

"In terms of the guests, some guests you have a say in and some you don't. So, really, the only thing you can do is kind of bring your attitude to it."


Seána Kerslake and Patrick Kielty in Ballywalter. Picture by Helen Murray
Seána Kerslake and Patrick Kielty in Ballywalter. Picture by Helen Murray Seána Kerslake and Patrick Kielty in Ballywalter. Picture by Helen Murray

However, one thing seems certain: Mr Kielty's debut episode is unlikely to feature his Dublin-born Ballywalter co-star Seána Kerslake as a guest.

"The funny thing is, [back when we made the film] we were sort of hoping to be guests on The Late Late Show," the Co Down presenter admitted.

"So, I'm still trying to convince the production that it's absolutely OK: 'It's fine guys, on your first show, to just talk about the movie that you're in' – but apparently there's a 'conflict of interest' thing which they're very touchy about these days."

Read our full interview with Ballywalter stars Patrick Kielty and Seána Kerslake in tomorrow's Irish News.