Ryan Tubridy has announced that the Late Late Show will welcome back a "very, very small" audience for the start of its new season on Friday night on RTÉ One.
The host made the announcement on his RTÉ Radio 1 show on Monday morning as he pondered whether he could reveal any details of the Late Late Show's line-up of guests.
"We have a very, very small audience for the first time in... What was it? Forty-nine shows we did straight without an audience?" he told listeners.
"We're going to have about... Everything - everything - is being done to the letter of the law in terms of guidelines and what we can and cannot do. So, I think we have about... We normally would have 200 people there; I think we're going to have an audience of 28.
"Now, that to me is a whole lot better than an audience of nothing. So, I'll take 28 because as a show-off that loves attention, that'll do me fine! I'll be able to bounce out. The alternative is like playing squash with a flat ball... This is much better.
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"It's a start. And we always said that we'll only return with an audience when everyone else can have an audience so if you can have a little audience the way you have in theatres whatever, we'll do it that way. And then, when it goes bigger and bigger, we'll go bigger and bigger.
"So, that's a good start. And then I'll start telling you about the guests during the week because they're terrific."
The Late Late Show, Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm