Fourteen year-old Katie Quirke from Lattin has had quite an amazing 2011 interviewing the likes of TV personalities Pat Kenny, Gay Byrne and just recently Ryan Tubridy on the Late, Late Show.
The first interview with Gay Byrne happened accidentally in Dublin in March earlier this year outside Dail Eireann. Katie went to Dublin after being called to the Derek Mooney Radio show as a fan of Jedward. Before the show Katie and her father decided to visit the Dail and on their way out they met Gay Byrne. Katie asked Gay how he was since his departure from the Late Late Show and continued to ask him questions about his experiences . After that interview Katie was star struck but it was that chance meeting that began her dreaming of meeting the other Late Late show presenters and she took an opportunity at the Ploughing Championships in Athy to approach Pat Kenny who was doing a live broadcast from the show. He allowed Katie and her friends a ‘shoutout’ on the radio and he also stood in for a photograph.
These two encounters gave Katie all the inspiration she needed to enter a competition advertised by RTE on Twitter where contestants were asked to email them their dream for a new TV series.
Tyrone Production set up a new TV show titled, ‘OMG Jedward’s Dream Factory’ to help make some young peoples dreams come true. The idea of the competition is that young people email their dream to the competition and dreams that are possible are chosen.
Katie emailed the TV show with her dream to interview the Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy on the actual Late Late show set.
In the beginning of September, the production team telephoned Katie looking for additional information and this was the last she heard until on October 12, in the middle of Irish class in school, Ryan Tubridy telephoned Katie and invited her to the Late Late Show to interview him.
A student of St. Anne’s Secondary School, Katie explained how the event unfolded. “It was just a normal morning at school and I had just finished up in science and I was on my way to home when my Irish teacher asked me and some friends to be in her classroom at break-time to get photos taken for the first year booklet and not to be late as it had to be done on a tight schedule,” explained Katie. “I thought of it as normal as we had taken pictures for music the week before but when we arrived in the Irish room, Ms. Barry had a video camera. I was a bit dazed at this, wasn’t it photos we were supposed to be doing? My sister Sarah was then brought in for a senior student to be featured on the video - what a coincidence? My Irish teacher had us all practicing our Irish while the principal was on the phone in the corner. Then our principal, Ms. Collette Treacy, turned to the class and said, “Girls, I have a request, for Katie Quirke. We have Ryan Tubridy on the line.” I was then handed the phone to speak to him and he invited me to the Late Late to interview him for Jedward’s Dream Factory. I was amazed. This was Ryan Tubridy I was speaking to and Ryan said to me, “For you to stand there, in front of your class, talking to me about this with everyone staring at you, now you’re getting a flavour of what it’s like to present a chat show.” Ryan was so lovely and after the call, I called my parents, who had known about it all along - I was overwhelmed with excitement, my dream was going to come true.”
Katie, her sister Sarah and her father travelled to the Late Late set on October 14. “It seemed so crazy and so unreal. After checking into the hotel, we went to RTE where I was greeted by Pete and Roisin, the filming crew from Jedward’s Dream Factory who would be following me around. Everyone at RTE were so friendly and I was treated as if I was hosting the show,” explained Katie.
“After hair and make-up, I was brought to the set by the executive producer and I thought the set was amazing and after watching the Late Late Show for so long and then being there, I couldn’t believe it. I then interviewed Ryan and it was so amazing.
“He was so kind, and funny and I got to see the guests of the Late Late backstage. The whole experience was indescribable. We got a tour of the set and I got to interview Ryan and stay behind the scenes for the entire Late Late show which I loved,” said Katie.
John, Katie’s father, was very nervous for his daughter. “When I went on the set of the Late Late show and saw the huge production team and all the organisation involved, I was really worried that Katie would not be able to handle the pressure as I was shaking like a leaf.
“How wrong I was as she took it all in her stride and her interview of Ryan Tubridy was recorded on the first take,” said John.
Katie loved the entire experience and a few days later Jedward interviewed her for the TV show about her interview with Ryan. “As you would expect, Jedward were crazy and we had so much fun and there was a special guest too. It was the best thing that’d ever happened to me, my dream had come true. I’ll never forget it, and I’d like to thank everyone who congratulated me, and wished me good luck,” said Katie.
And who was that special guest at the Jedward interview? “You’ll have to watch the show to find out,” said Katie.
The TV show, ‘OMG Jedward Dream Factory’ featuring Katie’s ‘dream come true’ interview with Ryan Tubridy commences on RTE on St. Stephens Day.