Patrick Kielty says he left Dundrum pubgoers waiting for mention on RTE

Patrick Keilty (Photo: Victoria Jones)
Patrick Keilty (Photo: Victoria Jones)

On Friday, the County Down man became the fourth presenter of the show since the programme started in 1962.

Kielty’s hosting was commended by Irish public figures including writer Gareth O’Callaghan and Sinn Fein politician Reada Cronin and hundreds of thousands of viewers tuned into his first show on RTE One last week.

The 52-year-old presenter spoke to BBC One’s The One Show on Tuesday about how his presenting was received where he grew up.

He said: “The local pub in my village decided to run a drinks promotion and every time I named the village live on air, they would give a free round of drink.

“So in Dundrum on a Friday night, you can imagine running that drinks promotion in any Irish village on a Friday night.

“So I mean, the pub was packed. I mean, there’s people that didn’t even like me. My family turned up, I said; ‘Where are you watching’. (They said) ‘We’re watching in the pub.’

“So I kept them hanging for a wee while and didn’t say Dundrum straightaway, I think last count there was 14 free rounds.”

The comedian and actor also said before he went out for his first show he was thinking he has to “hold this together” because it “meant a lot” to him.

The episode attracted an average audience of 830,000 on RTE One and RTE One +1, according to the broadcaster, and had guests including comedian Tommy Tiernan, former president Mary McAleese and footballer James McClean.

He follows Ryan Tubridy as host after the presenter stood down earlier this year.

Kielty also spoke about his new film, the upcoming comedy Ballywalter, in which he plays a struggling comedian.

He said: “Walking on to that set for the first day with all of those people who knew what they’re doing. I hadn’t acted before.

“They brought me into the make-up trailer and Shane’s character is meant to be this guy, he’s middle aged, his life’s on the skits, and he basically looks terrible because his life has gone downhill.

“And they sent me into the make-up chair for it’s called a breakdown, (so) make-up is when they try to make you look better and breakdown is when they try to make you look worse to get into the character.

“So I sat in the make-up chair, the make-up person just took one look at me went ‘yeah, he’s fine, that’s it’. Middle-aged life on the skits, you nailed it.”