Brendan O'Connor sidesteps question about Late Late show hosting gig
He is among the names in the running for the position.
Days after frontrunners Claire Byrne and Sarah McInerney both announced that they will not be taking over as new host for The Late Late Show, RTÉ Radio One host Brendan O'Connor, who himself is in the running, has sidestepped questions about the vacant position.
With Ryan Tubridy leaving the show at the end of the month, speculation continues to spread online as to who will be the next host of the long-running chat show.
Speaking on his Sunday morning show, the 53-year-old refused to be drawn into speculation about the hosting gig, which he said is being "driven by online betting companies."
O'Connor responded in jest to a question posed by Sunday Times columnist Alison O'Connor asking his thoughts on the situation, considering his name had been mentioned for weeks.
"I know what you're doing here, you have your eye on this gig so you're trying to get rid of me," he joked.
O'Connor refused to speculate on the vacant Late Late Show position
However, the Cork man did expand slightly on his thoughts about the issue. "I'll tell you what I think," he began. "I think this conversation has been based on free advertising for betting companies and I think I'm not contributing to that.
"It's not the answer you wanted but it is actually the answer. This has been driven by online betting platforms, all the pieces have been driven by that and if I said anything to you right now that would contribute to that and I'm not going to.
"I'm not saying there's not interest, let's be very clear. I am saying, though, that the coverage and the narrative has been driven by online betting companies and I'm not contributing to that."
In response to his answer, the columnist said that she thought O'Connor would be a good choice for the hosting gig.
"Well I'm flattered that you would say so, Alison," said O'Connor. "But I still know what you're at. You've had your eye on this gig for a long time for a long time. You practically did a practice run for it for the last five minutes when you took the chair for me."
With both frontrunners in Byrne and McInerney out of the running and Tubridy's final show coming up at the end of the month, online speculation is going to reach boiling point over the next few weeks.
Along with O'Connor, Patrick Kielty and Kathryn Thomas are mentioned as possible candidates for the gig.
Tubridy will present his final Late Late Show at 9.35pm on Friday 26th May on RTÉ One.
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