Ryan Tubridy is set for a career-defining showdown with new RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst as he battles to keep his job after accusing the national broadcaster of publishing “untruths” about his contract.

During six hours of committee hearings, Tubridy and his agent Noel Kelly sought to shift the blame for the controversial payments on to RTÉ.

Breaking their silence for the first time, two of the key figures in the long-running scandal insisted they were deceived by RTÉ over how payments were made to the broadcaster’s highest-paid presenter.

In his opening address to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Tubridy angrily banged a tabled as he set out seven “untruths” he believed have been put into the public sphere about him – mostly by RTÉ.

Tubridy insisted one of those untruths was a suggestion he quit The Late Late Show because of the impending controversy surrounding undisclosed elements of his pay.

He said he was never overpaid by RTÉ and he was unaware that the broadcaster was concealing payments to him.

The long-serving presenter said he is anxious to return to work but admitted he could be “out of a job by Friday” and was waiting to speak with Mr Bakhurst.

The presenter has not hosted his show on RTÉ Radio 1 since the week the scandal broke, but yesterday he told committee members that he hopes to return to the airwaves “as soon as possible”.

Tubridy said he will ask that his contract is published annually if he does keep his job at RTÉ.

“In the event that I do keep my job – and it is touch and go at the moment, from my understanding of it – I’d be happy to suggest that you publish my contract on an annual basis, with the earnings and the salary, straight up. If RTÉ is going through a catharsis this week, that is my offer,” he said.

Mr Bakhurst yesterday said he would not make a “rash decision or promise” about Tubridy’s future and added that much will depend on what transpires this week at a number of committee hearings.

He also said he wanted to engage with RTÉ staff to get their views on Tubridy returning to air.

“I am not going to shut the door right now. Honestly I want to judge it on the evidence. I’m a fair person. I want to be fair to Ryan,” Mr Bakhurst said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kelly was asked about Mr Bakhurst’s statement that he would “in all likelihood” not work with him again.

Mr Kelly said he is “the shop steward” for his clients and that he did not believe Mr Bakhurst’s statement was “a flat no”.

At two Oireachtas committee hearings yesterday, Tubridy faced a litany of questions about how his published pay was topped up by €75,000 by RTÉ through a UK-based barter account.

The television host said he was “under the impression” the payments were from Late Late Show sponsors Renault with whom RTÉ had organised a commercial partnership with, involving Tubridy.

However, Renault pulled out of the arrangement after the first year due to the pandemic and Tubridy revealed he has not completed his contractual engagements with the car manufacturer but said he would not be seeking payment for work he has not done.

A stand-out moment yesterday was the RTÉ presenter and his agent’s contradiction of claims by RTÉ’s former chief financial officer Breda O’Keeffe.

The former CFO told an Oireachtas committee last week that Mr Kelly asked for the €75,000 to be underwritten by RTÉ “and this was refused”.

She said that as far as she was aware, this continued to be the case up until she left RTÉ in March 2020.

Tubridy and Mr Kelly have refuted that claim, providing the Oireachtas committees with a copy of an email from Ms O’Keefe to Mr Kelly on February 20, 2020.

In the email, Ms O’Keeffe was said to have stated: “We can provide you with a side letter to underwrite this fee for the duration of the contract.”

Mr Kelly told the committee that RTÉ executives had tried to “blame” former director general Dee Forbes for doing a “solo run” on the underwriting,” he told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in his opening statement.

“Clearly that is not correct. The decision was taken early by RTÉ and was known widely within the executive board of RTÉ,” he added.

Tubridy also insisted the oncoming scandal had no impact on his decision to leave The Late Late Show.

“I will be here until the last dog barks until you believe me that decision came from my heart and soul,” said Tubridy. “This was a very personal decision.”

Mr Kelly said that his number one client, Tubridy, “has been made a poster boy for this scandal”.

“Ryan and I have attracted, and our families, and our friends, a horrendous, horrendous amount of criticism in the past few weeks and I would not wish it on anybody. Why? Because the only figure in this whole story whose face was recognisable was Ryan Tubridy,” Mr Kelly said.

“This is not the Ryan Tubridy scandal, this is the RTÉ scandal,” he concluded in his opening statement.

The public broadcaster has rejected the claim “that an incorrect version of events” was provided to the committee.

The presenter also revealed how RTÉ gave him only 30 minutes’ notice before publishing a seven-page statement about his contractual arrangements, in which he was named 15 times.

Tubridy said RTÉ was asked to include in its statement that auditors Grant Thornton had found no wrongdoing by the presenter in their audit but the station refused to do so.

The former Late Late Show host said he has struggled to “leave the house” since the controversy erupted, describing it as a “frenzy”.

“I don’t know if any of you have been cancelled before, but I’m telling you, you don’t want it,” Tubridy said.

Mr Kelly, who handles contract negotiations on behalf of Tubridy, said he never believed RTÉ was paying the additional payments to his client even after sponsor Renault stepped back from the commercial arrangement.

The agent said he believed the payments from the barter account, Astus, were linked to the car manufacturer.

Mr Kelly said he never wanted RTÉ to underwrite the additional money for his client and said the underwriting of the payment was in case of a change of sponsor.

The talent agent said he submitted what were described by TDs as “false invoices” for consultancy services which were, in reality, payments for Tubridy, because he was asked to do so by RTÉ.

Mr Kelly said his client was responsible for bringing €100m in commercial revenue into RTÉ during his tenure as host of The Late Late Show.

At the media committee later, Fianna Fáil senator Shane Cassells noted that Tubridy earned more than €8m during his 14 years as host of RTÉ’s most-watched television programme.

Later in the hearing, Tubridy said: “The salary is enormous but that doesn’t affect my soul.”

Tubridy said he was advised by the late Gerry Ryan to resign as an RTÉ staff member and become a contractor.

He said he was not very good at finances and that is why he signed up to Mr Kelly’s NK Management agency.