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26th Jun 2023

Patrick Kielty cracks joke when quizzed about Ryan Tubridy payments scandal

Stephen Porzio

Patrick Kielty

The comedian is set to replace Tubridy as host of the Late Late.

As the controversy surrounding Ryan Tubridy and RTÉ rages on, one person who has refrained from commenting on the matter is Tubridy’s successor as Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty.

At an event held over the weekend in Belfast in which Kielty and former world champion boxer Carl Frampton discussed their experiences of Northern Irish life, the future Late Late presenter was asked about the revelations from the RTÉ Board last week.

These included that Tubridy’s annual earnings between 2017 and 2022 had been understated by the broadcaster and that he was paid over €300,000 more during this time than initially declared.

Patrick Kielty quizzed about Ryan Tubridy payments scandal.

Days after the news broke, RTÉ director general Dee Forbes resigned with “immediate effect”.

However, despite being set to follow in Tubridy’s footsteps as host of The Late Late Show, Kielty declined to weigh in on the scandal and is reported in various outlets as joking:

“I’d need a few more beers before I could talk about that.”

Claire Byrne reveals RTÉ salary live on air.

One person who was ready to comment on the ongoing controversy was RTÉ’s Claire Byrne who began her radio programme on Monday morning by addressing the matter.

She told her listeners that her most recently published annual salary of €350,000 is “correct”, along with “those published in the past”.

The radio presenter explained that she took a €70,000 pay cut when she stepped down from hosting the TV show Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ 1 last year, but confirmed that she is still earning €280,000.

She also revealed that she earned a separate €25,000 for hosting the TV quiz show Ireland’s Smartest, which ran on RTÉ 1, and that she was sharing these figures in a bid to earn listeners’ trust.

Claire Byrne

“I acknowledge that fee is significant and way beyond what many people could hope to earn. There are others who will, no doubt, have more to say about it I am sure, but my personal decision here this morning is to be open and honest with you,” she said in the opening of her show.

Byrne said that with her fee comes a duty to treat her position with respect, adding:

“I hope that you can trust me and the team of journalists I work with, to cover this story with the same rigour and balance as we would any other story on this programme.

“As programme makers, our aim is to be consistent, fair, and professional and to respect the hard-earned trust that you, the audience, have in us,” she also told her listeners.

Byrne stressed that she knew nothing about Tubridy’s additional payments, stating:

“I wasn’t even aware that presenters’ fees, including my own, were subjected to a Grant Thornton review. I knew absolutely nothing about it.”

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