OBITUARY: Gay Byrne has died aged 85
Tributes have been pouring in after the death was announced of Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne. Whilst he is not someone you would automatically with Eurovision, he was nevertheless connected.
Gabriel Mary ‘Gay’ Byrne may be best remembered as the host of RTÉ’s flagshow TV programme ‘The Late Late Show‘ between 1961 and 1999. he interviewed the great and the good, and was there during Ireland’s golden age of Eurovision in the 1990s. Here he is interviewing 1998’s winner for Israel Dana International.
Gay did have more involvement in Ireland’s early participations. He commentated for RTÉ in 1969 and 1984, and hosted the Irish national final in 1984 and 1985. He also presented the votes from the jury in 1967 and 1968. Here he is in 1967. If you start the video at 5.35 in, you’ll see hostess Erica Vaal almost miss him out.
Gay mainly retired from TV when he left ‘The Late Late Show‘, although did made several appearances afterwards. He returned to radio until 2016 when he took time off for cancer treatment. He did not return to air.
Here’s Gay introducing Ireland’s entrants in 1986 – Luv Bug.
Eurovision Ireland’s thought are with Gay’s wife and family at this time.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland