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TV legend Gay Byrne dies from cancer at 85

Colossal: Veteran presenter Gay Byrne PICTURE: PHOTOCALL  IRELAND

IRISH broadcaster Gay Byrne has died at 85 after a long illness.

Mr Byrne, the host of RTE’s Late Late Show for more than 30 years, died in Howth, in the east of Ireland, surrounded by his family. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.

RTE director-general Dee Forbes said: ‘Gay’s journalistic legacy is as colossal as the man himself. Ireland grew up under Gay Byrne and we will never see his like again.’

Mr Byrne began as a radio newsreader in the late 1950s before working at Granada Television, interviewing acts including The Beatles. He then worked for the BBC and RTE, where he began presenting the Late Late Show in 1962. He presented his final daily radio show in 1998 and his final Late Late Show the following year.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen and their daughters Crona and Suzy.