Patrick Kielty, a comedian and presenter from Co Down, is hotly speculated to become the next host of RTÉ's “The Late Late Show" with Paddy Power and BoyleSports both suspending their betting.

“Things quietened down in the betting over the past couple of weeks but we had an explosion of activity yesterday," Rachael Kane, a spokesperson for Paddy Power, said on Tuesday, May 9.

"It was all one-way traffic, with customers willing to back Patrick Kielty no matter what the price and we therefore made the decision to pull the plug.

"This looks like a done deal as far as we are concerned.”

Elsewhere, BoyleSports spokesperson Sarah Kinsella said: “It doesn’t matter what odds we made Kielty for 'The Late Late' role, the support just kept coming for him.

"It looks like an announcement from Montrose could be imminent, so we have chosen to pull the plug on the betting.”

Speculation about the new "Late Late" host has been running wild ever since Ryan Tubridy announced in March that he would be stepping down after 14 years. Miriam O'Callaghan, Tommy Tiernan, Brendan O'Connor, Claire Byrne, Ray D'Arcy, Jennifer Zamperelli, and Dáithí Ó Sé were all considered in the running for the gig at various points.

Tubridy's last show will be on May 26.

Meanwhile, an RTÉ source told the Irish Independent on Tuesday that Kielty is "more or less a done deal."

The source said: “Producers want to take the show in a completely new direction and he was deemed the ideal fit for the role.

“His people were out in RTÉ about two weeks ago to discuss the position and all the talk in Montrose is that he more or less has the gig. If he wants it, it’s his. He’s a very funny guy, he’s very normal and is great at putting people at ease.

“He’s also well able to do the light and the shade, which is something that Tubridy excelled at but can be quite tricky.

“They want to make it more like Graham Norton’s show, a bit more light and fluffy. Having a comedian hosting a chat show is a no-brainer as they’re used to thinking on their feet and know how to keep a show entertaining.

“The fact that he’s from the North of Ireland is also a huge plus in his favour as it lends an all-island feel to the show.”

A spokesperson for RTÉ said: “We will be revealing the new 'Late Late Show' presenter in due course. We have no further comment to make at this time.”

Kielty has remained pretty tight-lipped amidst the speculation. When asked about the rumors at the IFTAs on Sunday night in Dublin, he told RTÉ Entertainment: “I think that ‘The Late Late Show’ is one of the greatest TV shows on the planet, and whoever gets that gig is going to be really lucky.

"But I think something that maybe hasn’t been said - I’ve done chat shows before, I know how difficult they are, and I’ve been a guest on ‘The Late Late Show,’ and I’ve sat alongside Ryan doing his stuff - and whoever gets that gig they're going to have huge shoes to fill.

“Because what he does, week after week - I don’t think people appreciate him as much as they should because Ryan is absolutely world-class, he’s the best in the business.”

Speaking on the IFTAs red carpet TV presenter Patrick Kielty described Ryan Tubridy as a world-class presenter and said that whoever gets the gig will have huge shoes to fill | Read more:

— Entertainment on RTÉ (@RTE_Ents) May 7, 2023

Who is Patrick Kielty?

52-year-old Kielty grew up in Dundrum, Co Down in Northern Ireland. He attended St. Patrick's Grammar School in Downpatrick and was a talented footballer, playing on the Down GAA minor team from 1987 - 1989.

In 1988, when Kielty was 16, his father John "Jack" Kielty was killed by paramilitary gunmen. Kielty recalled the experience in a 2022 appearance on "The Late Late Show."

Kielty, who went on to study psychology at Queen's University Belfast, began his stand-up career as host of Northern Ireland’s first comedy club The Empire Laughs Back in Belfast in the early '90s. His television credits include "Last Chance Lottery" for CH4 and "Patrick Kielty Almost Live" for BBC1. 

Kielty's BAFTA-nominated "My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me" saw him named UK documentary host of the year at the 2018 Grierson Awards while his 2021 film, "Patrick Kielty: 100 Years of Union" also won an RTS award for best presenter.  

In 2022, Kielty starred in "Ballywalter," his first feature film, where he played the role of Shane alongside IFTA nominated Seána Kerslake. Other acting credits include Marie Jones's "A Night in November" for which he received a What’s On Stage nomination.  

Kielty's radio talk show can be heard every Saturday morning on BBC 5 Live.

In 2012, Kielty married British television host Cat Deeley in Rome. The couple has two sons and the family lives in Los Angeles.