Like loads of people, I wasn’t at all happy to hear of Tubs’ plans to leave The Late Late Show, even if I can understand his reasons why. The only thing to cushion the blow is if a Cork person was to take on the job
• I’M not sure if it’s a sign of getting older or just my personality but I’m not a great one for change. Specifically, I’m not a great one for the changing of the clocks so the time going forward (it is forward isn’t it?) this weekend is going to throw me in a big way. I’m also one of those rare creatures who actually likes the dark evenings and shorter days. I mean what’s not to like about it being perfectly legit to get into your pjs at 6pm (4pm if you’re not working, and if you’ve been wearing your pjs all day then of course we change into a different night time pair, we’re not completely manky), pulling the curtains and retreating from that big, bad old world? Exactly. Now, with that extra hour (and all that extra time we’ve got since Dancing With The Stars finally wrapped up) there’ll be pressure to get out there, and get stuck into all the great stuff that West Cork has to offer like water sports, hikes, pier jumping and the like. Stuff that you can’t really do in your pjs. I’m wrecked just thinking about it.
• Speaking of change, I wonder is there any point in trying to get Tubs to change his mind? Could we start a petition or something? I’ve only recently come around to the fact that Ronan Collins isn’t coming back to his Radio 1 slot (even if Louise Duffy is doing a great job), and now this? Honest to god, it’s too much. I’m a big Ryan Tubridy fan and will admit to having a not-so-secret crush on him. When people start giving out about his salary (he earned €440,000 in 2021 making him RTÉ’s highest earner), I’ll defend him to the hilt without hesitation. Every Friday night for 14 years, including a long old stint without a studio audience? C’mon! That’s serious commitment. And he rarely had an ‘off’ night … it was usually the guest at fault. As for those who dismiss his radio show for being ‘just on for an hour,’ I say follow him if you can. His opening banter (of at least 20 minutes) is single-handedly responsible for setting me up for the day, most days – so there! I won’t have a word said against him on my watch. To be honest, though, most of the chatter isn’t actually about him at all anymore, it’s all about who will replace him.
• At a family lunch last weekend it was the only topic of conversation (once we’d squared off the weather and the time changing). We’ve it narrowed down to a few strong contenders. Right, so Miriam O’Callaghan was obviously mentioned and while it was agreed she’d be more than capable for the job, we thought it was just a bit too obvious of a choice. Anyway, she later said she loves Prime Time ‘too much’ to leave it.Claire Byrne was another much-touted name and a crowd pleaser, and her name stayed on our list. Tommy Tiernan was mentioned but dismissed mainly for those long awkward pauses he leans into on his own show. Sorry, now, but we couldn’t be dealing with that on a Friday night. Someone suggested Ray D’Arcy and a huge groan went up which kind of said it all, and someone else suggested Dáithí Ó Sé but I think they were only joking. Anyway between the jigs and the reels we brought it down to Brendan O’Connor, John Creedon, Graham Norton and Matt Cooper. We felt they all had an easiness about them, that all-important empathy, an ability to get people to tell their stories and a nice lilt to their voices. Oh, yes, and they’re all from the Rebel County too. Like. Sure, how bad. Let the best (Cork) man, or woman of course, get the job.
•Daffodil Day has rolled around again, taking place on Friday March 24th. The Irish Cancer Society uses the day to fund its vital free services such as drives to and from cancer treatment, a freephone support line and daffodil centres staffed by experienced cancer nurses, the night nursing service providing end-of-life care and counselling for anyone affected by cancer. Without dragging the mood down, there’s not many families who get a ‘hall pass’ from the big ‘C.’ It’s estimated 2,600 cancer diagnoses were missed in 2020 alone, due to the Covid pandemic and catch-up remains difficult, due to demands on the health service. So, look, if someone shakes a collection bucket under your nose, try to resist looking the other way, buy the daffodils even if your garden is teaming with them, and support the coffee mornings. Do what you can.
• A family member has just texted another Ryan replacement suggestion – she went a bit leftfield with Roy Keane. I mean, it could work, on some level, although there may be some things to work on for the all-important Toy Show. All credit to Tubs, he’ll be a hard act to follow that’s for sure.