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The Gay Byrne Show (previously The Gay Byrne Hour and also known as The GB Show) was an Irishmarker radio programme, which ran from 1973 until 1998. The programme was presented by Gay Byrne, and aired Monday to Friday for two hours each day. It was a favourite of Irish housewives.


The Gay Byrne Hour began broadcasting on 2 February 1973. It featured many Irish taboo subjects, with forums and discussions.

In 1979, because of an extended air time, the programme was retitled The Gay Byrne Show. The show's reporter was Joe Duffy. In 1976, Byrne won a Jacob's Award for his programme. Duffy also won an Jacob's Award in 1992.


Speculation that Byrne would leave his show began in January 1998. In August of that year, a spokeswoman for the Director of Radio confirmed the show would end.

On 16 December 1998, while presenting his programme in Studio 5, Mike Murphy interrupted the programme and escorted a surprised Byrne into Studio 1. An audience of 150 celebrities and guests greeted Byrne. The then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and President Mary McAleese were among the guests.

The final show was broadcast on Grafton Streetmarker, on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1998.

Byrne later spoke of his regret at not having retired from presenting the show five years earlier. He also claimed that the craziest thing he had ever done was present the show live for so long.


The influential show and the life of presenter was celebrated in the 2006 twenty-part book series Lives That Shaped the Nation, a collection by the Irish Independent which documented the lives of significant figures in Irish history. Others featured in the series included Bono, Éamon de Valera, James Joyce, Patrick Pearse, Mary Robinson, Oscar Wilde and W. B. Yeats.


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