Gerry Ryan

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Gerry Ryan : biography

4 June 1956 – 30 April 2010

In 1997, Ryan’s wife Morah, from whom he later separated, telephoned her husband’s show and, under the name Norah, told half a million listeners that her husband dumps his underpants on the floor before hopping into bed every night, doesn’t put his clothes on hangers, had not cleaned the dog’s mess from the back yard for weeks and never puts the rubbish out for the dustbin men. When she was done she asked her husband: "You would do that now, wouldn’t you Gerry?" The interview was nearing its finish when he realised what was happening after hearing his crew laughing in the Montrose control room. An embarrassed Ryan informed his listeners: "This is my wife talking". originally published in the Sunday Mirror

In 2004, Ryan caused uproar when he cancelled an interview with the Taoiseach of the time, Bertie Ahern at very short notice. originally published in the Sunday Mirror

Following Ryan’s death, British broadcaster Chris Evans credited The Gerry Ryan Show with inspiring him while on a holiday in Killarney.

In October 1990, Ryan received a Jacob’s Award for The Gerry Ryan Show, described at the award ceremony as "unbelievably bizarre and unprecedented – and at the same time being serious, hilarious and unpredictable".The Irish Times, "Jacob’s awards presented", 15 October 1990.

Television career

Ryan hosted several series of television shows during his career.

Secrets Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up The Irish Mail on Sunday

He described Ryantown as "the worst television experience I’ve ever had in my entire life", with producer Julie Parsons (who had previously worked on The Gay Byrne Hour) nearly having a nervous breakdown, according to Ryan. He described RTÉ as "extremely unhelpful". "Suggestions would arrive at our production meetings: maybe Gerry should wear a hat. Maybe Gerry should sit down. Maybe Gerry should run around more." Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p. 36 Ryan unsuccessfully pleaded with RTÉ to cancel midway through the series.

Gerry Ryan Tonight was a chat show that aired two nights per week. Ryan describes it as "no less traumatic" as it nearly cost him his close personal friendship with the producer Ferdia McAnna.

Ryan was touted to be the successor to Gay Byrne following his departure from The Late Late Show. Reports that Ryan was to be made producer as well as presenter and given a deal worth £500,000 – higher earnings than Byrne received – originally published in the Sunday Mirror proved unfounded when Pat Kenny took over the role in 1999.

Later TV work included Gerry Ryan’s Hitlist, Ryan Confidential, and Operation Transformation. Ryan wrote in his 2008 autobiography that his critics were not as vocal any more, although he put this down to them "mostly… ignoring me". He is also noted for presenting The Late Late Show on 24 October 2008 when regular presenter Pat Kenny became bereaved. In positive notices unusual as per his television career, Ryan received praise for his guest role, even coping well with the traditionally difficult comedian Tommy Tiernan whose appearances on the show with Kenny led to complaints. The edition of The Late Late Show that he hosted had the largest audience of any that season apart from the annual edition of The Late Late Toy Show.

The Evening Herald reported that when Tonight with Craig Doyle finished, Ryan was set to present a chat show in autumn 2010.

Autobiography

In the early part of 2008, Ryan announced that he had been contracted by Penguin to write his autobiography. The €100,000 advance paid by Penguin to Ryan was reported to be the largest ever paid for a book published in Ireland. originally published in the Sunday Mirror Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up was released to Irish readers on 16 October 2008. In January 2009, it was reported that the book had sold just over 10,000 copies.