Northern Ireland news

President Michael D Higgins named among guests for Ryan Tubridy's final Late Late Show

After 14 years, Ryan Tubridy presents his final Late Late Show on Friday night.
Allan Preston

President Michael D Higgins and “the greatest trad-supergroup ever” are among the guests set to appear as part of Ryan Tubridy’s final episode hosting The Late Late Show.

A regular guest throughout the years, Mr Higgins will share his thoughts on modern Ireland after a recent series of centenaries and the importance of lessons from the past.

Before Co Down comedian Patrick Kielty takes over as host, Tubridy has been promised a rousing musical send-off with a star-studded trad session will include Andrea Corr, John Sheahan of The Dubliners, Moya Brennan of Clannad and many others.

Celebrating the enduring popularity of the Late Late Toy Show, Mr Tubridy will catch up with the now ‘not-so-little’ stars that appeared over the years in one of RTÉ’s most popular broadcasts.

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"Tomorrow night is going to be a night of endings for sure, but beginnings for definite,” said the outgoing presenter.

“ While I will be saying a lot of goodbyes for my last Late Late Show, it will also be a night of gratitude.

“Gratitude to all the people I have worked with and continue to work with and their families. And enormous gratitude to the guests, the artists, the singers, and the ‘doers’ who have come through the door and graced us with their presence.

“And, of course, my greatest gratitude to my family who have been so loving and patient and my greatest supporters. They are the ones to whom I dedicate my last show. They are my constant. I love them so much and I want them to know that.”

Praising the “loyalty, decency, kindness and generosity” of viewers who had stayed with him over the last 14 years, he said his desk on Thursday morning was covered with hundreds of letters from across Ireland and around the world.

“I am humbled, I am grateful, and I am excited because this is the end of one phase of this extraordinarily exciting life I have had so far. I will be turning the big 5-0 on Sunday, so it’s the perfect time to look ahead and welcome a new chapter. Until I am ready to share that next chapter, I am going to take some time off, I will reflect and process it all. My final words about my final Late Late Show are ‘Thank You’.”

Patrick Kielty taking over the Late Late Show welcomed by current presenter Ryan Tubridy. Picture/RTÉ