Late Late Show: How Patrick Kielty may ditch the politicians and move closer to Graham Norton format

Patrick Kielty earlier this month. Photo: Joe Maher/Getty Images

Melanie Finn

Politicians could be given their marching orders from RTÉ’s Late Late Show when the new-look programme returns under Patrick Kielty in September.

Last night saw Ryan Tubridy fronting his final programme after 14 years at the helm, leaving the way clear for Kielty (52) to step into his shoes and rebrand the long-running show this autumn.

An RTÉ source said there is speculation the show will be “shorter and lighter”, taking a leaf out of Graham Norton’s format – and that could spell an end to verbose politicos appearing on the show.

“RTÉ already has four current affairs TV shows running over the course of the week and the politicians can have their say on any of them,” she said.

“The consensus is that once the new regime starts, it’s going to have a much lighter vibe, making it more of a light-entertainment show and a bit of craic.

“By the time you get to ­Friday night, you’ve had your fill of hard news.

“You want to sit back, open a bottle of wine and have a laugh.”

Just like Graham Norton, Kielty may even perform a short comedy routine to get the show off on a light-hearted footing as he puts those years as a stand-up to good use.

Patrick Kielty in Profile

A huge amount of planning is also under way into the make-up of Kielty’s production team, given that he has his own top-level company, Green Inc.

“Nobody knows who he is bringing in yet, there is no definite decision on that. It’s still in the early days but you’ll always bring in somebody you know and trust,” the RTÉ source said.

“You could just bring in someone on a short-term contract to help get the show up and running – that would be norm.”

Much debate has centred around the fact that Kielty is not living in Ireland full-time and that he will commute from London where he lives with wife Cat Deeley and their two boys James (5) and Milo (7).

Critics have suggested that Kielty may not be as up-to-date as previous presenters with the burning issues affecting the lives of ordinary people.

However, another RTÉ source has hit back strongly at this idea saying that some Montrose veterans found the idea “laughable”.

“He’s the first presenter from outside Dublin – and from a fine GAA background too. He played for the Derry minors so he knows his sport. He’s very nationalistic and would actually be very reflective of the core RTÉ audience for the Late Late Show,” she said.

Kielty will have a busy schedule once the show returns in September as he will front the show late on Friday nights and will then have to travel to Belfast to front his BBC 5 Live show, which runs from 9am to 11am on Saturdays.

Kielty has been presenting the popular show for the past year and is happy to continue juggling both high-profile gigs for the two national broadcasters.

In September, he will become the fourth host of RTÉ’s long-running TV show for its 61st season. He said he was “absolutely thrilled” to have landed the gig.

“I’m also genuinely humbled to become part of Friday nights for so many Irish people, at home and around the world. I can’t wait to get started on one of the greatest jobs in television,” he said.

Kielty’s talents were praised by Jim Jennings, RTÉ’s director of content, who said: “Patrick Kielty is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s finest comedians, a fantastic presenter with a depth of experience, and a range of talents that will bring an exciting new dynamic to the show.”

More Irish News

Top Stories