Ryan Tubridy's debut as the third Late Late Show presenter in 47 years can only be described as glittering. From the opening credits, with snazzy new digital imagery but the old theme tune and the reliable owl, the tone of an exciting evening was set.

The RTÉ presenter, often lambasted for his populist touch, showed his teeth in a Frost/Nixon type exchange with Taoiseach Brian Cowen. He asked the tough questions, but he also managed to disarm the taoiseach enough to reveal some passion and personality.

He tackled Bryan McFadden on the question everybody was thinking, but nobody has asked before: what is he doing in Australia when his children are in potential peril in the UK? And he flirted, without being lecherous, with Joan Collins and Cherie Blair, charming them and the women of Ireland in the process. Forget about the country girls gaffe, forget about the tardy response to RTÉ 's pay cut, Ryan Tubridy's new Late Late Show was brilliant and may become required viewing on Friday nights. Jonathan Ross watch out.