DUSTIN THE TURKEY has paid tribute to the late Gay Byrne, insisting that he was the only RTE star worth paying the licence fee for.
"There's no one as good as Gaybo," he told the Irish Mirror.
Ireland's favourite cocksure bird appeared with Gay on the Late Late Toy Show six times down the years and formed quite a partnership.
Dustin isn't usually one for praise, but described as the legendary broadcaster as "the man with the genius".
"Everyone says Gay was really friendly but you had to break Gay down, it was like talking to the headmaster at school," he said.
"I remember first meeting Gaybo, I think I laid an egg I crapped myself so much.
"Gay is the man who is television in Ireland, there’s nobody as good as Gaybo, he’s the man with the genius.
"I learnt from him you don’t need producers and directors, if you’re not good enough to go on, you shouldn’t be allowed near a microphone.
"The late great Gay Byrne was worth paying a licence fee for."
In light of the announced job cuts at Montrose, Dustin admits he feels for the staff at RTE admitting that the landscape is changing, in his classically frank way.
"When I worked for RTE there was a thing called the television and radio Centre.
"I feel sorry for the staff out there but they were always overpaid, it’s the senior management they should be getting rid of.
"Tubridy deserves his half a million, anyone who works out in that kip deserves at least half a million.
"There’s been a lot of cutbacks, things like aertel how are people in Cork supposed to get updates now and how are they supposed to find the Lotto numbers?
"Lyric FM is going, what was their slogan again, music by the dead for the nearly dead.
"Nationwide I believe are just going to be filming in Donnybrook, it’ll be Blathnaid and Anne Cassin filming in a telephone box.
"I never had a television licence when I worked out in RTE and I don’t have one now and I don’t intend on ever buying one.
"The thing is, they’re asking for a licence fee increase and they’re going to give us less television and radio.
"A Lot of people would say less Ray D’Arcy and less Joe Duffy, I’d pay for that."