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  1. ITV Report

Tributes paid to veteran Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne

Gay Byrne has died aged 85. Credit: PA

Tributes have been paid to veteran Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne, who has died aged 85.

Mr Byrne was the face of Irish television for decades, fronting The Late Late Show on RTÉ for 37 years.

RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes described him as an “exceptional broadcaster” who had become a “household name” in the country.

"Gay's journalistic legacy is as colossal as the man himself,” a statement said.

“He not only defined generations, but he deftly arbitrated the growth and development of a nation.

"Ireland grew up under Gay Byrne and we will never see his like again. My deepest sympathies to Kathleen and his family."

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Gay Byrne was born in Dublin in 1934.

He started his broadcasting career as a newsreader on radio in the late 1950s, before moving to Granada Television in Manchester.

Byrne commuted between the UK and Ireland working for both the BBC and RTÉ, later returning to Dublin full time to present The Late, Late Show.

With ‘Gaybo’ as he affectionately became known at the helm, it became the world's longest running chat show.

He presented his last Late, Late Show in 1999, but went on to host other television and programmes for RTÉ over the years.

Gay Byrne died in Howth, surrounded by his family including his wife Kathleen and their daughters.

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