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6 memorable moments from 50 years of the Late Late Show

From tearing up Toy Show tickets to Padraig Flynn’s appearance, here are some of the chat show’s highlights. Tell us your favourites…

One of the postcards featured at a 2009 An Post exhibition capturing a snapshot of modern Ireland.
One of the postcards featured at a 2009 An Post exhibition capturing a snapshot of modern Ireland.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

THE LATE LATE SHOW is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a live special tonight featuring the show’s three main hosts Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny and Ryan Tubridy.

RTÉ has promised the appearance of diverse personalities who appeared on The Late Late Show throughout its decades-long history, including Liam Neeson, Imelda May and Daniel O’Donnell.

While the #latelate hashtag on Twitter hasn’t always attracted the most favourable comments in recent years, there is no denying that the longest-running chat show in the world has created memorable moments throughout the past 50 years:

Pee Flynn

In 1999, Padraig Flynn spoke to Gay Byrne in an interview which angered developer Tom Gilmartin and sparked his cooperation with what was to become the longest-running tribunal in the history of the state:

(Video uploaded by AssassinorErrandBoy via Gavinsblog.com)

The Toy Show tickets

Pat Kenny wasn’t impressed when a competition winner agreed to take the cash prize, but admitted she wasn’t that interested in the accompanying Toy Show tickets. So he destroyed them:

(Video uploaded by linkman3100)

The Horologist

Eight-year-old John Joe Brennan stole hearts the land over when he appeared a recent Late Late Toy Show to discuss Roald Dahl and horology with Ryan Tubridy:

(Video uploaded by rte)

Jimmy Carr v Pat Kenny

Comedian Jimmy Carr managed to bring up Pat Kenny’s land issues in 2008 – and played a role in the competition call at the end of the show:

(Video uploaded by cupidstuntblog)

Bono in 1983

The half-bleached mullet, the introduction to his lovely wife Ali, Gaybo telling the audience that his young friends had been very excited that he was having this rising rock star on the show. A lifetime later, U2 presented Gay with a Harley on his retirement from the Late Late.

(Video uploaded by BonoVocRF)

The Boyz

And finally, that classic episode of the show in which Boyzone made their first televised appearance:

(Video uploaded by haribokey)

This is just a selection of moments where video is available to show you. We know there will be many more that spring to mind. The difficulty of live broadcasting, for example, was never more pointed than at the moment in 1997 when Gay Byrne rang a viewer to tell her she was in with the chance of winning a major prize. Sadly, the woman’s daughter had just died – Byrne’s sensitive handling of the situation, the woman’s generosity of spirit and poet Brendan Kennelly’s moving contribution all made for one of the most memorable moments on live television.

What are your best/worst memories of the Late Late Show? Do you have any Late Late Show memorabilia? Let us know in the comments section below.

Gaybo, Tubs and Kenny get together to celebrate golden anniversary >

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