© John Kindness
John Kindness, Irish, b.1951
Title: Portrait of Gay Byrne (1934-2019)
Date: 2000
Medium: Oil on canvas
152 x 122 cm
Credit Line: Commissioned, National Gallery of Ireland, as part of the Irish Life & Permanent Portrait Series, 2000
Object Number: NGI.4686
DescriptionGay Byrne is Ireland's most renowned broadcaster, who hosted for twenty-seven years RTÉ's The Late Late Show, the longest running talk show in the history of television. Brought up on Dublin's South Circular Road, Byrne worked in insurance before joining Granada Studios in Manchester and then the BBC in London. His tenure with RTE began in 1962, when The Late Late Show was first shown as a filler for the summer schedule. He is also remembered for his long running radio programme, and the television shows Jackpot, The Rose of Tralee and Housewife of the Year. He was appointed Chairman of the Road Safety Authority and still works in television and radio. John Kindness, much admired for his uniquely imaginative work, gave up a lucrative design career to work full time as an artist. In this portrait he has placed the broadcaster in profile, a pose reminiscent of monarchs, emperors and presidents found on obverses of coins. The background wallpaper represents events from the Late Late Show which appealed to the artist.