Whatever your views of the show, there is little doubt that despite an ever-changing media landscape, it has managed to maintain its special place in Irish society and culture.
“It most certainly still has kudos as a programme,” says broadcaster Henry McKean. “I’ve been at a few dinner parties recently and the only thing that people wanted to talk about was who the next presenter was going to be. People still love it or secretly love it.
"I think Irish people feel ownership of it. Going on the show was really quite a special experience.”
Henry first appeared on The Late Late Show in 2012 when he was invited to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of being a single man on that year’s Valentine’s special.
“I got a call out of the blue asking me to talk about romance with Holly Carpenter and someone fromIt was really strange. I had been working in radio for about 10 years at that stage but when you go on , there is obviously something a bit different about it so when I said it to friends I never had such a reaction. They couldn’t believe it.”
Though he didn’t find romance that night, Henry’s life took an unexpected twist on his second appearance.
“They had me on a panel again,” he recalls. “This time it was to talk about happiness. As we were waiting in the green room, I got talking to a book publicist who was there with another guest. I had met her a few weeks before on Grafton St but we had a bit more time to talk in the green room. A few weeks later, I asked her out, and Helen is now my wife.”
Neil Delamare’s memories ofgreen room aren’t quite as romantic. The comedian has been a regular on the show since he first appeared at the tail end of Pat Kenny’s reign.
“I think the most famous person I met in the green room was probably Mr Big from Sex in the City; the actor Chris Noth,” says the comedian.
“And I remember telling him that I had a friend who had seen him in a play on Broadway in which he stripped naked. It turned out that he hadn’t. That was a bit awkward.”
For Neil, this friendly, if slightly scarlet-for-ye, encounter with Noth reflects the show’s sometimes organic and often anarchic qualities.
“It will be interesting to see if it stays live or will it be recorded like so many others in the USA and UK,” he says. “I think there is more risk and the possibility for revelation onand because of that, I think it’s better. You get more out there stuff.”
Indeed, who can forget Linda Martin’s run-in withBilly McGuinness, Ryan’s reaction to that exploding bottle of Fanta, or Francis Brennan’s tussle with some unruly bedding?
“Oh don’t mention the duvet episode,” says Francis. “That wasn’t the only one. I remember the time I cleaned the windows with the newspaper and I couldn’t see a thing because of the lights in the studio. I couldn‘t see if they were clean or dirty. So I had to wing it.”
That was very often the case for everyone on set when Francis came onwith his unique blend of storytelling, household tips, and life hacks.
“I’m never nervous going on The Late Late,” says the hotelier, “because I know it can go anywhere and Ryan is brilliant at adapting to the situation in hand. I remember doing a show with Ellen DeGeneres years ago and everything was formulaic."
Now that Francis has put his hotel up for sale, there are rumours he might take the show on himself. Rumours that he was very quick to take a duster to.
“I wouldn’t want his job for all the tea in China,” he says. “Everyone thinks you just rock up and have a chat. But it’s not like that at all. The amount of work that goes into it is unbelievable. You have to keep up to date on everything. Even stuff you are not interested in at all.
“I do wish whoever takes it on the very best,” says Francis.
“It’s a very important programme in Irish society. And one thing that people often miss about it is that it educates as well as entertains and I hope that doesn’t change.”
Model and author Rosanna Davison can testify to that side of the show’s offering. The former Miss World has appeared on the show no fewer than five times and has had the “honour” of telling her “stories at some really important times” in her life. In one of her most recent appearances, she spoke to the nation about her experience of surrogacy.
“We had just welcomed our little girl Sophia a few months before,” recalls Rosanna. “I went on to talk about how I was told that I couldn’t naturally carry my child. I was nervous about telling such a private story and I remember he [Ryan] came backstage just before I went on.
“He gave me a little gift for Sophia and he hugged me and he reassured me that he was going to be gentle and that it was my story to tell and nobody else’s. He was really supportive and kind. And that’s my memory of Ryan Tubridy. I think it’s a reflection on him as a person and his upbringing. I’ve always found him to be as engaging and as empathetic and as friendly off screen as on screen and I think that’s part of his success and why so many guests return. It is a positive experience.”
Rosanna got quite the surprise just a few weeks after her appearance on that show when she discovered she was pregnant with twins.
Thoughcan’t take responsibility for that particular life-affirming moment, it can claim many others. We all remember where we were when the wonderful Adam King’s wonder and gratitude first graced and nobody will ever forget Sergeant Graham Burke jumping out of a Christmas hamper to the elation of his children.
Michael Moloney was just 14 when he appeared on the show to perform a cover of ‘We Used to Be Giants’ by his hero Dermot Kennedy on the Toy Show.
“Initially, I thought his voice was just part of the backing track that they had forgotten to take out or something,” recalls the now 16-year-old. “So I was trying to cast it aside and just keep singing. Then I turned around and he was standing there.
“I was already in a type of out-of-body experience but this was like what is happening?”
The teenager, who releases two new singles later this summer, remained professional and remarkably composed. If anything, it was Kennedy who seemed most likely to let the emotion get the better of him.
“Between adrenaline and excitement I kept singing,” recalls the Mayo troubadour “and I was having such fun I didn’t want to stop singing. It was unreal. It was probably the best moment of my life and it has changed my life since then. It has opened so many doors.”
That’s almost 14 years of opening doors, facilitating dreams, and giving the rest of us great memories.
Tubs will be a tough act to follow.