Gay Byrne - Irish broadcasting legend

Emily Davison

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If ever there was an Irish broadcasting icon than surely it was Gay Byrne


The reason for many to stay in on a weekend night for many a decade. The cause of endless discussions over a cup of tea, or arguments down the pub, as he dealt with the various issues of the day. Shocking the nation. Bewitching us. Annoying us. TV moments we will never forget. The Late Late Toy show - the stuff of dreams. From one generation to the next. Radio moments where he held us spell bound. The letters he read out. The topics he covered.....
 


Buchaill Dana

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When he was good he was exceptional. Let his own biases and extreme conservatism shine through too often, but a genuine powerhouse.

Pity he never got to retire as he had financial issues.
 

Betson

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When he was good he was exceptional. Let his own biases and extreme conservatism shine through too often, but a genuine powerhouse.

Pity he never got to retire as he had financial issues.
Didn't his accountant clean him out of a lot of money?
 

drjimryan2

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He also heavily invested in Anglo which, I understand, 'Cleaned him out' for a second time......
 

Dame_Enda

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He was excirah and delirah. RIP.
 

rainmaker

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If ever there was an Irish broadcasting icon than surely it was Gay Byrne


The reason for many to stay in on a weekend night for many a decade. The cause of endless discussions over a cup of tea, or arguments down the pub, as he dealt with the various issues of the day. Shocking the nation. Bewitching us. Annoying us. TV moments we will never forget. The Late Late Toy show - the stuff of dreams. From one generation to the next. Radio moments where he held us spell bound. The letters he read out. The topics he covered.....
Very sorry to hear this - he was an extremely talented and accomplished broadcaster.

I didn't know he was 85 though.
 

Catahualpa

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Will RTE give him a Royal Funeral ?
They had better!

If ever an man personified RTE - for better or worse - it was Him!

Had the privilege to see him in one of his last - if not the last - public outings last year when he unveiled a plack at the old Adelphi Cinema in Abbey St in Dublin to commemorate when the Beatles played their one and only gig in this town way back in '63.

He was a consummate performer on the day even though obviously unwell and not long for this world.

Yeah the passing of a broadcasting era for sure.
 

owedtojoy

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Rest in Peace.

An unlikely maker of modern Ireland - he succeeded because he was bloody good at his job.

His method was to elicit the character of his guest by asking intelligent questions and letting him or her talk for themself. Who can forget the famous Paraic Flynn interview, when the audience sat in stunned silence as a leading political figure let it be known that he was so far up his own ass that he thought he could get away with anything. The self-pitying "You don;t know how hard it is to run three houses" should still be a legendary comment.

But in many ways, his radio shows had as big an influence. Here, through a phone-in and roving reporter Joe Duffy, ordinary people became involved. His show the day after Ann Lovett died in Granard giving birth in a grotto, there was a phone-in outpouring of stories from across the country - a sort of national catharsis. Stories about infanticide and desperate ferry boat voyages to England were finally spoken about openly.

In an era of post John-Paul triumphalism, much of this was risky. Byrne was heavily criticised for interviewing two Lesbian ex-nuns on the Late Late Show. One outcome was that he was forbidden by RTE to devote a program to abortion. As Byrne himself said grimly, "Welcome to the Late Late Show, the only RTE program with a Government Health Warning".

His lowest moment was (imho) was his ambush of Bishop Casey's mistress Annie Murphy on his show, where he remained tight lipped and ashen faced, not caring to hide his dislike for the subject or his guest. His anger at his accountant's embezzlement of his life savings was understandable, but sometimes intrusive in his show. Maybe that could be forgiven.

But there were few blemishes on a great and stellar career.
 

A Voice

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His method was to elicit the character of his guest by asking intelligent questions and letting him or her talk for themself. Who can forget the famous Paraic Flynn interview, when the audience sat in stunned silence as a leading political figure let it be known that he was so far up his own ass that he thought he could get away with anything. The self-pitying "You don;t know how hard it is to run three houses" should still be a legendary comment.

But in many ways, his radio shows had as big an influence. Here, through a phone-in and roving reporter Joe Duffy, ordinary people became involved. His show the day after Ann Lovett died in Granard giving birth in a grotto, there was a phone-in outpouring of stories from across the country - a sort of national catharsis. Stories about infanticide and desperate ferry boat voyages to England were finally spoken about openly.

In an era of post John-Paul triumphalism, much of this was risky. Byrne was heavily criticised for interviewing two Lesbian ex-nuns on the Late Late Show. One outcome was that he was forbidden by RTE to devote a program to abortion. As Byrne himself said grimly, "Welcome to the Late Late Show, the only RTE program with a Government Health Warning".

His lowest moment was (imho) was his ambush of Bishop Casey's mistress Annie Murphy on his show, where he remained tight lipped and ashen faced, not caring to hide his dislike for the subject or his guest. His anger at his accountant's embezzlement of his life savings was understandable, but sometimes intrusive in his show. Maybe that could be forgiven.

But there were few blemishes on a great and stellar career.
You've ticked just about every libtard box there. Well done!
You missed the one about putting the condoms on the plastic penis, so I'll have to dock you some marks.
Nevertheless, splendid effort. You certainly don't need to read the Irish Times for the next week or so, because every article on him will mention all these talking points.
 
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hiding behind a poster

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When he was good he was exceptional. Let his own biases and extreme conservatism shine through too often, but a genuine powerhouse.
You have to judge people by the standards of the time - it's laughable to describe him as an extreme conservative, he was nothing of the sort.
Anyway, a legend of a broadcaster and a great man. RIP.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Rest in Peace.

An unlikely maker of modern Ireland - he succeeded because he was bloody good at his job.

His method was to elicit the character of his guest by asking intelligent questions and letting him or her talk for themself. Who can forget the famous Paraic Flynn interview, when the audience sat in stunned silence as a leading political figure let it be known that he was so far up his own ass that he thought he could get away with anything. The self-pitying "You don;t know how hard it is to run three houses" should still be a legendary comment.
The Flynn interview was Gaybo at his best. You can easily imagine a Kenny or a Tubridy rescuing an interviewee who they sensed had the gun pointing at their own feet, whereas Gay had sufficient confidence in his own reputation to know that a guest being allowed to implode live on air wouldn't change the fact that nobody would turn down the Late Late as long as he was in the chair.
 

CatullusV

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Rest in Peace.

An unlikely maker of modern Ireland - he succeeded because he was bloody good at his job.

His method was to elicit the character of his guest by asking intelligent questions and letting him or her talk for themself. Who can forget the famous Paraic Flynn interview, when the audience sat in stunned silence as a leading political figure let it be known that he was so far up his own ass that he thought he could get away with anything. The self-pitying "You don;t know how hard it is to run three houses" should still be a legendary comment.

But in many ways, his radio shows had as big an influence. Here, through a phone-in and roving reporter Joe Duffy, ordinary people became involved. His show the day after Ann Lovett died in Granard giving birth in a grotto, there was a phone-in outpouring of stories from across the country - a sort of national catharsis. Stories about infanticide and desperate ferry boat voyages to England were finally spoken about openly.

In an era of post John-Paul triumphalism, much of this was risky. Byrne was heavily criticised for interviewing two Lesbian ex-nuns on the Late Late Show. One outcome was that he was forbidden by RTE to devote a program to abortion. As Byrne himself said grimly, "Welcome to the Late Late Show, the only RTE program with a Government Health Warning".

His lowest moment was (imho) was his ambush of Bishop Casey's mistress Annie Murphy on his show, where he remained tight lipped and ashen faced, not caring to hide his dislike for the subject or his guest. His anger at his accountant's embezzlement of his life savings was understandable, but sometimes intrusive in his show. Maybe that could be forgiven.

But there were few blemishes on a great and stellar career.
I couldn't possibly agree more. An uneven career, but he showed no fear in taking on all of the tough issues, once memorably unrolling a condom on a thumb while musing as to what all the bother was about.

He had his failings, but he leaves behind a huge legacy.

His work with the roads authority may actually be his biggest legacy. I never liked his programmes, but he had a huge and positive impact.
 

CatullusV

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You've ticked just about every libtard box there. Well done!
You missed the one about putting the condoms on the plastic penis, so I'll have to dock you some marks.
Nevertheless, splendid effort. You certainly don't need to read the Irish Times for the next week or so, because every article on him will mention all these talking points.
The problem you have is that all of that is true. It was, err, live on screen and recorded.
 


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