Ryan Tubridy was mysteriously dropped as a guest on The Late Late Show in the same week that it was announced that he was going to be the programme's next presenter.
The Sunday Tribune has learned that 36-year-old Tubridy was scheduled to appear on the 15 May edition of the Late Late but was removed from the schedule on the day of the broadcast.
An RTÉ spokesman has confirmed that Tubridy was originally due to feature on the show but denied that his non-appearance had anything to do with reported tensions between him and current host Pat Kenny.
"When RTÉ announced Ryan Tubridy as the next host of The Late Late Show on Monday of last week, there was some consideration given at that time to the possibility of a Late Late Show appearance. As the week progressed, with the press coverage of the announcement reaching saturation point , it was felt that a further interview on The Late Late Show was not in the interests of the audience," the spokesman said.
An RTÉ source said: "Ryan Tubridy couldn't have been on that list if he hadn't accepted an invitation. People in RTÉ were very excited about it, even anxious as to how an interview between himself and Pat Kenny would go."
RTÉ management is understood to be concerned about the continuing war of words between the two broadcasters.
In January, Tubridy had spoken in a newspaper interview of his wish to extend his one-hour weekday radio programme, which is transmitted before Kenny's on RTÉ Radio 1, and revealed his desire to move his Tubridy Tonight show to Friday night and "see The Late Late Show given to a deserving host on a Saturday night".
Kenny (61) responded in the Sunday Tribune:?"I have no interest in what might be good for Ryan in the schedule, to be quite honest. That's up to him. I don't know what he's doing. He's writing books. He's doing all sorts of things. He's a young man in a terrible hurry. He's only 35 and he's desperate to do everything that everyone before him has done.
"My advice to him would be to slow down a little and enjoy what he has. You've got to win your spurs is what I would say to Ryan."
But relations were said to have grown even worse when, after being appointed as Kenny's successor, Tubridy vowed to give "a 21st century twist" to The Late Late Show. "I think it needs to be shaken up. I'd like an entertainment show. I think a bit of that would be nice... I don't know about long-winded current-affairs debates."
In an interview with the RTÉ Guide last week, Kenny again hit back, saying: "I was trying to modernise, in my own mind, RTÉ Radio 1. That is the difference between Ryan and I. I was very much a man of my own time. Ryan talks about becoming Parkinson and yet he's only 35. He refers to himself as a young fogey but I was never that."
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