Fromer RTÉ host Ryan Tubridy launches a new books podcast

Tubridy was due to return to Irish broadcaster RTE with a podcast but the deal fell through.

Ryan Tubridy
Former RTÉ host Ryan Tubridy has kickstarted a new podcast about books (Ian West/PA)

Irish broadcaster Ryan Tubridy has launched a new podcast about books.

Tubridy, who is taking days off from his Virgin Radio UK show, left the Irish national broadcaster RTE last year after weeks of controversy relating to the organisation publicly under-reporting payments to him.

The 50-year-old was once the Irish station’s highest earner as the face of its flagship Late Late Show.

He was due to return to the organisation under a deal which would have seen him creating a podcast for RTE among other duties.

However, director-general Kevin Bakhurst pulled the arrangement, saying he was “particularly disappointed” with a statement released by Tubridy in relation to the controversy around his earnings.

The controversy saw Tubridy and his agent Noel Kelly, as well as senior executives and board members at RTE, called before crunch parliamentary committees in Ireland which probed a widening crisis at the broadcaster.

Ultimately, Mr Bakhurst decided Tubridy would not return to RTE because “trust had broken down”.

Tubridy launched his mid-morning show on the UK network Virgin Radio in January and later characterised the RTE controversy as “arguably the best thing that ever happened” to him.

Last week, he told his Virgin Radio listeners that he was “taking a few days off” but teased that there was “big news” coming.

On Thursday, he revealed that the news was the launch of a new podcast: “You’ve guessed it, I’ve got a podcast. And you’ve guessed it, it’s about books.

Ryan Tubridy at Leinster House, Dublin, before giving evidence before two committees in July 2023
Ryan Tubridy at Leinster House, Dublin, before giving evidence before two committees in July 2023

“It’s called The Bookshelf With Ryan Tubridy – it had to, it’s obvious.”

The weekly podcast, which is in partnership with Eason bookstores, publishes its first episode on podcast apps on Tuesday April 16.

Tubridy explained the concept for the podcast in an Instagram post: “The guest comes along with three books from their very own bookshelf: The book from their childhood, the book that made them cry, and the book that changed their life.

“And over the course of a conversation, we have a chat about the people and their lives through the prism of these three beautiful, important books.”

A video podcast of The Bookshelf With Ryan Tubridy will also be available on YouTube.