May 11 2008
My working morning begins as I give the dodgy radio on the mantelpiece in my office a good bash to turn it on. Unless my co-worker has been trying to annoy me by tuning in 98FM, it will be pre-tuned and I will be greeted by the sound of Ray D’Arcy saying something awkward and sounding embarrassed about it. Ray D’Arcy: Ireland’s answer to Hugh Grant in Four Weddings (and pretty much anything else he’s in).
Together with Will ‘There’s a Way‘ Hanafin, Mairead ‘I’ve Got a Fancy TV Career Now‘ Farrell and Jenny ‘Ray, Stop That‘ Kelly, the show’s often inciteful, often ludicrous chatter and interviews provide invariably riveting radio. I’d be lost without this show to start my day.
At midday, I switch off the professional, responsible and respectable TodayFM and turn on something that resembles a hospital radio station in an asylum where the inmates have taken over the airwaves. Ray Foley’s, ‘just a bit of fun for your lunchtime’, is fantastic. When heard Foley was moving from his late night show, the Blast, to an afternoon show, I was both thrilled and nervous. There was no way he could take his zany, risque and altogether collegic radio show and transfer it to a mainstream slot, without losing his edge. Happily, I was wrong.
Foley, JP and Adelle (and Ann) are all about the fun. I laugh my way through the afternoon listening to the show. And Foley’s blog is one of my favourite subscriptions (of course it doesn’t compare with Mr. Rick’s).
The only real kink in todayFM’s armour comes in the afternoon with Tony Fenton. He’s a real old fashioned DJ and sounds awkward and out of place. Trying desperately to pick up the pace of Foley’s show, he succeeds at being a mere stopgap between Ray’s show and The Last Word at 4.30. And while he does at least play some good music, the only real reason I listen is that I’m too lazy to switch over to Rick O’Shea on 2FM.
Matt Cooper’s Last Word is a definite change of pace. It’s a talk show that doesn’t sound like they gave Dr Phil a Irish radio slot, nor does it sound like some stuffy ‘we only want to talk about classical music and theatre‘ arts show. They discuss relevant events from the day’s news and have significant guests with a presenter who can play devil’s advocate on any topic, without sounding like an argumentative fool. More than once I have stayed in work late just to hear the conclusion to some heated debate.
There was a time I would attempt to listen to the radio on the DART in the morning and evening, but the reception was erratic and intermittent, so I settled on iPoddery and reading the newspaper. So, sadly, I miss out on the brilliant Ian Dempsey in the mornings, but his podcasts are available for free via iTunes, which is a bonus.
In the car, Lottie (with her radio remote on the steering wheel) tends to channel surf, looking for Beyonce and Britney tracks, but we generally revert to TodayFM before long. The Tom Dunne Show is music radio at its best. He plays great classic tracks, interspersed with brilliant commentary and also introduces the listener to a variety of new music without alienating the masses.
TodayFM is a brilliant station and I am an avid fan. That said, I don’t have all the Bertie Gift Grub album, I never got a Bobble Head Ray, I don’t have a ‘Just a Big of Fun for Your Lunchtime’ T-Shirt, and I don’t have a Something Happens album. Can I still call myself a fan? I think so!