His television career began in Granada, Manchester, where he became the first person to introduce The Beatles on screen. He was the first host of 'The Late Late Show', the world’s longest-running chat show, presenting it from 1962 to 1999 (except 1964). He has also presented 'The Rose of Tralee', 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?', 'The Meaning of Life', and 'For One Night Only'.
From 1973 to 1998, he presented 'The Gay Byrne Hour' on Radio 1. He has written several books, including his autobiography 'The Time of My Life' (1987), and columns for the 'RTV Guide', the 'Sunday World' and the 'Sunday Independent'.