Nathan Carter pays tribute to Big Tom by leading The Late Late Show audience in a moving rendition of the late country legend's first hit Gentle Mother on Friday night's Country Special on RTÉ One.

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Ronan Keating and Daniel O'Donnell are also in studio as The Late Late pays tribute to Big Tom, who passed away on Tuesday, with the Country Special bringing together the biggest names in the business to celebrate the music he loved. 

Susan McCann, Paddy Cole and Fr Brian D'Arcy also join host Ryan Tubridy to discuss the impact Big Tom had on the Irish country scene and his legacy, and the show features some of the Castleblayney man's best known hits.

Big Tom passed away aged 81 on Tuesday

Host Ryan Tubridy said: "This week, more than any, we have seen how the country scene in Ireland is part of the fabric of who we are. It is only fitting that we should pay tribute to Big Tom.

"As one of the best loved singers in Ireland, he paved the way for a lot of today's biggest performers. We'll be hearing from some of those who knew him best and celebrating the popularity of the music that he loved so much.

"There is something for everyone in this show from the die-hard fans to those looking to dip their toe into country waters."

This year's Late Late Show Country Special will also focus on the wide appeal of country music by featuring some of the crossover hits that have broken out of the scene to make it big in the mainstream.

Ronan Keating 

Boyzone singer Ronan Keating will be telling viewers about the country origins of one of his biggest solo hits, When You Say Nothing At All, and he'll perform the song with one of the newest stars of the scene, Lisa McHugh. 

Derek Ryan and Sandy Kelly will sing the classic Islands in the Stream and Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan will be bringing viewers their version of Hurts So Good.

In 'Circle of Friends', the stars of country will celebrate some major hits and a special nod will go to Rhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell.

Ryan will also be joined by Gloria, Philomena Begley, Jimmy Buckley, Declan Nerney, Mike Denver, Michael English and Robert Mizzell as The Late Late Show dons its Stetson and goes full country for the night.

The Late Late Show Country Special, airs Friday, RTÉ One at 9.35pm.