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The 8 Frontrunners To Replace Ryan Tubridy As 'Late Late Show' Host

The 8 Frontrunners To Replace Ryan Tubridy As 'Late Late Show' Host
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Thursday brought the surprise news that Ryan Tubridy is set to step down as host of The Late Late Show at the end of the current season, after 14 years in the hotseat.

Tubridy will step back after the broadcast on May 26, with an announcement to follow later in the summer on who will replace him as host of RTÉ's flagship chat show.

Unlike when Pat Kenny stepped aside in 2009, there is no obvious candidate to take the job - so we've looked through some of the most likely contenders to take up the role of Late Late Show host.

The Late Late Show: The main contenders for host job

Miriam O'Callaghan

Currently the bookies' favourite for the job, Miriam O'Callaghan is one of RTÉ's most experienced broadcasters, and would no doubt be a more than capable Late Late Show host.

Most established as the host of political talk show Prime Time, while she also hosted Saturday Night with Miriam in the late 2000s.

Crucially, she has hosted the Late Late Show before, filling in for Ryan Tubridy during the COVID-19 pandemic when Tubridy was sidelined with the illness. No wonder she's the current bookies' favourite.

Tommy Tiernan

This one would be a popular choice, but we don't see it happening.



Tommy Tiernan has carved out quite a niche as host of his Saturday night talkshow on RTÉ, in which he is unaware who he will be interviewing until the show gets underway. He has aced this so well that it's hard to see RTÉ moving him from that role, even though he would be a fantastic Late Late Show host. He would certainly be this author's pick for the role.

Brendan O'Connor

A staple of RTÉ's Radio team for several years, O'Connor is another who has experience of hosting a Saturday night chat show on RTÉ, and sits just behind Miriam O'Callaghan in the odds for the Late Late Show host job.

Claire Byrne

Claire Byrne revealed the news of Ryan Tubridy's departure from The Late Late Show on Thursday, before interviewing the man himself on her late morning RTÉ Radio show Today with Claire Byrne.



Tubridy joked with Byrne that she could take over the role, but she batted away the suggestions and offered no comment. She's certainly gotten the vote of confidence from the departing host, anyway, and is solidified as one of the front runners from all corners.

Like O'Callaghan, she is best known as an anchor of Prime Time, and endeared herself to many with her broadcasts on Claire Byrne Live during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Jennifer Zamparelli

Jennifer Zamparelli would be a very fun choice from RTÉ. The comedian hosts her own radio show every weekday morning on 2FM, and has made herself a popular presenter during her time with the broadcaster.


She is high on the bookies' lists, and would be a bold and exciting choice to take over from Tubridy as Late Late Show host.

Ray D'Arcy

Another long-time RTÉ radio host, D'Arcy had perhaps the longest run of any of RTÉ's alternate chat show hosts, with the Ray D'Arcy Show running on RTÉ TV from 2015 right up until December 2019, and the emergence of Tommy Tiernan's unique show.

D'Arcy would be a safe bet for RTÉ, as one of the broadcaster's most established and experienced names, though his step back from TV in recent years may explain why he is a touch lower down the list of favourites.

Daithí Ó Sé

The modern face of The Rose of Tralee, Daithí Ó Sé would be another safe - but fun - option for RTÉ.

The Kerryman's eclectic presenting style would certainly be a change from predecessors Pat Kenny and Ryan Tubridy, should he take over as Late Late Show host, and he has proven his presenting capabilities across many different kinds of programming at RTÉ.

Unlikely to come through, but he's certainly in the mix.

Graham Norton

Probably the best man for the job, but the definition of a longshot.

Norton's BBC show has taken over as the premier chat show in the UK and Ireland, and attracts the biggest names from the worlds of cinema, sport, and music week-in-week-out. Pair that with his huge salary at the BBC, and it's hugely unlikely we'll see Norton jumping ship to take over in Montrose. He's a natural in his role at the "Beeb" and we don't expect him to depart any time soon.

Still though, any involvement of Norton's would be a huge boost for RTÉ's famous chat show.

A few Balls.ie wildcards

So, we've run through those who are most likely to get the job, but how about a few Balls.ie wildcards? Well, Eamon Dunphy has experience from the short-lived The Dunphy Show on TV3 in 2003, and there's no doubt he would be absolute box office. Could he be convinced to make a return to RTÉ?


We'd also be more than happy to see Pat Spillane - who has been listed as an option with some bookmakers - take over, to finish the work he started as host of The Sunday Game in the late 2000s.

Time will tell who will take over as host of The Late Late Show, and it appears like it's anyone's game.

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