Gerry Ryan, one of Ireland’s great entertainers and Radio/TV show host died today at the age of 53.
Great shame that, he was always a great cynical voice in Irish affairs and I’ll definitely miss hearing the odd show on the radio from him. From a news article on him by The Guardian:
Often controversial, Ryan was part of a new wave of young radio and television stars that emerged in the 1980s. As well as his popular radio programme, he presented television programmes including Ryan Confidential, Gerry Ryan Tonight, Ryantown, Gerry Ryan’s Hitlist and Operation Transformation.
He co-presented the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest from Dublin’s The Point theatre and replaced Pat Kenny for an edition of the Late Late Show in 2008. He published his autobiography, Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up, in 2008.
Ireland’s most famous broadcaster, Gay Byrne, paid tribute to Ryan, describing him as an “unconstrained spirit” who lived life to the full. He said Ryan was a “terrific friend, a terrific drinker and a terrific guy to be with. He was tremendously arrogant in his views and opinions and he was very funny about it at the same time. You couldn’t possibly take offence.
Ireland is a good deal poorer after this loss, despite the economic crisis still looming, and I hope someone comes along to fill his shoes. His will be a deep shadow to step into. Current Radio and TV presenters seem to be quite a bit more shallow than Ryan generally was and I hope that whoever takes his place in the Irish media retains some semblance of Ryan’s cynical and sceptical nature. If not, we may indeed end up far poorer than I could have thought possible.
Friends and colleagues (indirect as they may be) such as Gay Byrne, Chris Evans and Joe Duffy have expressed deep sympathy for his shocked family and praised Ryan on his bold attitude to life and being a presenter. Joe Duffy likened him to the “bold kid in school you loved to hang around” (excuse the paraphrase)
My thoughts go out to his family and friends. May you all find peace of mind sooner than seems possible to you right now.