RTÉ showing a two-part documentary on the life of Gay Byrne and how his work changed Irish society
A reminder of Gay Byrne's immense talent and impact. Set record because it starts tonight.
There isn't a single Irish person that doesn't have a fond memory of Gay Byrne.
Simply put, he will always be an icon of Irish broadcasting and his sad passing marks the end of an era.
With empathy, warmth, and bravery, Byrne's tenure on The Late Late Show reflected the changing nature of Irish society.
In his tribute, Joe Duffy put it best by saying: "More so than any one individual, Gay Byrne represented modern Ireland and through his daily broadcasting on radio and television he propelled this country and its people forward.
"In no other country can one individual claim to have had such a positive impact on an entire nation over such a long period. Ireland is a better country thanks to Gay’s lengthy career behind the microphone at the centre of public discourse."
To coincide with his sad passing, RTÉ have announced that they'll be repeating Gabyo, their two-part documentary series on the life and times of the beloved broadcaster.
The first episode starts tonight at 23:35.
— RTÉ Communications (@RTEPress) November 4, 2019
In 1962 the Late Late Show, with its youthful host Gay Byrne, first appeared in an Ireland that was still relatively unchanged since the foundation of the state four decades earlier. By the time Gay Byrne left the show at the end of the 1990’s, Ireland had changed beyond recognition.
Socially, culturally, politically and economically, the country was profoundly different. These changes were truly astonishing and the documentary reflects these seismic changes.
Through a combination of Byrne's individual talent and the way in which his programmes captured the changing sensibility of the Irish public, Gay Byrne was uniquely positioned as both participant and observer of these changes.
The first programme in this two-part documentary series delves into Byrne's family background, his schooldays, his transition from working in the insurance business to presenting in the early days of Radio Eireann, the development of his love for broadcasting, his time at Granada Television, his return to RTÉ and the birth of the Late Late Show.
Archive material from The Late Late Show is used in the documentary as viewers are reminded of the major moments that unfolded on the programme, including the infamous ‘Bishop and the nightie incident.'
Contributors to the first programme in this two-part documentary include Michael Parkinson, Bob Geldof, Graham Norton, Mike Murphy, Fintan O’Toole, Nell McCafferty, and members of Gay Byrne's family.
Aside from repeating this this two-part documentary, RTÉ will also be broadcasting a special Late Late Show in tribute to Gay Byrne on Tuesday, 5 November at 9:35pm on RTÉ One.
The 90 minute live special will include contributions from Byrne's many friends and colleagues across the world of entertainment and beyond including Bob Geldof, Andrea Corr, Pat Kenny, John Sheahan and Mary McAleese.