There have been some major developments in the search for the next host of The Late Late Show, with the news that Claire Byrne has ruled herself out of the running to replace Ryan Tubridy later this year.
The RTÉ presenter had become the heavy favourite for the role, with some bookmakers even no longer taking bets on her to take the hot seat.
However, she confirmed on social media earlier today that she would not be putting herself forward for the position:
I have a young family, a busy home life and a full-time radio job that I love, and right now, that is enough for me.
While I’d never rule out other TV projects, the Late Late Show should be presented by someone who can give it the time and dedication that it deserves.
She is the second perceived frontrunner to rule themselves out of consideration, following Miriam O'Callaghan doing so shortly after Tubridy announced his upcoming departure.
With that in mind, who is currently seen as the favourite? Here are the three names considered to still be in the running.
Who's in the running to host 'The Late Late Show'?
Sarah McInerney is currently seen as the slight favourite among bookmakers at odds of 6/4.
The Prime Time host started as a longshot in the betting, although she has steadily had her odds shortened over the last couple of months. Now, she could be in prime position.
McInerney would certainly be an excellent choice. She is brilliant in her roles in both television and radio, especially when it comes to calling out politicians.
Sarah McInerney to Leo Varadkar: Will you do any thing differently?
Leo: Well, I'm 5 years older.
Sarah: End homelessness, perhaps?
Leo: ... crickets... #RTEpt pic.twitter.com/NJDaYs0O7F
— Dáithí K (@tvcritics) November 9, 2022
Definitely one to keep an eye on.
UPDATE 05/05 - And then there were two
Sarah McInerney has pulled her hat from the ring. McInerney tweeted a statement saying she won't be succeeding Tubs or James Corden or Logan Roy.
— Sarah McInerney (@SarahAMcInerney) May 5, 2023
Despite not currently being on the books at RTÉ, Patrick Kielty is viewed as only a slightly longer shot than Sarah McInerney to get the job at 2/1.
Of course, he has some history with The Late Late Show. He was offered the presenter's job back in 1999, being given the opportunity to replace the outgoing Gay Byrne. However, he decided against it and the gig ultimately went to Pat Kenny.
It seems unlikely he would turn it down for a second time. Recently, his wife Cat Deeley said that Kielty would do a 'phenomenal job' if given the opportunity.
I know his name is in the mix (for The Late Late Show). And I know that he would do the most phenomenal job as, you know, he’s got the right balance of entertainment and politics, and he’s got skin in the game in that he’s very aware of what happens in Ireland all the time.
Kielty has presented various shows during the intervening years. He has also made quite a few appearances on RTÉ, including on The Late Late Show last year.
Now that brings back memories @PatricKielty! 😂#LateLate pic.twitter.com/m1NW0Qlmq5
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) February 25, 2022
A cerebral thinker and top entertainer, he would be another brilliant choice.
Another one who was seen as an outsider at the beginning of the process, Baz Ashmawy is now viewed as the most likely candidate outside the two mentioned above, currently priced at 8/1.
The current presenter of the popular DIY SOS, he recently told the Irish Independent that he didn't think he would be in the running for The Late Late job. In saying that, he didn't completely rule it out either.
No one has ever talked to me about the Late Late. I’m excited about it so see who gets it. I don’t think it will be me… I am sure they will make a decision very soon.
There are a lot of good candidates out there and a nice new fresh approach would put some good energy into it...
As a presenter I am telling you it is juggling grenades to do a two-hour live show. And in fairness to Ryan, maybe one Christmas special there was a fluff but apart from that…I think people underestimate what a big, big challenge it is so whoever gets it good luck to them.
Ashmawy has been improving as host in recent years and would certainly be good option for RTÉ.
Well said Baz Ashmawy.
Shame on those people protesting these volunteers. #LateLateShow pic.twitter.com/iDZkWCJsOU
— Dáithí K (@tvcritics) March 24, 2023
With Ryan Tubridy's final show taking place later this month, it is likely we will hear some news on his successor sooner rather than later.
Filling Tubs's shoes is proving harder than many expected.