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Hi. I'm Tony Fenton
Tony Fenton is a larger than life figure. One of Ireland’s most experienced and widely liked DJs, he currently occupies the early afternoon slot on Today FM, where he attracts an impressive audience. Behind the mic, he is full of braggadocio – but off-air he is a different character entirely. So what really makes the Northside Dubliner tick?
Olaf Tyaransen, 29 Jun 2011
Have you been affected by the recession?
Yeah, like everybody else. I don’t think anyone’s immune to that.
Did you have many investments?
I did yeah, and they’re all gone. Mostly anyway. Now I’m very careful about how I spend, and I’m very careful where I save. The most important thing is to stay working. Anyone who’s bought property in the last five years, it’s halved now so you’d be struggling the rest of your life trying to pay off that. I’m 50, so thank God it’s not TV, Olaf, at least it’s radio. You can work a little bit longer on radio. TV careers can be short. Radio is a little bit longer, but I love what I do, I’ve a passion about radio. Hopefully I’ll be working for a good few years yet.
How do you think Ryan Tubridy is performing in Gerry Ryan’s old slot?
I remember when you interviewed Ian (Dempsey), he made a very true point. Which was that when Tubridy was on Radio 1, he was sandwiched between two strong shows so he didn’t really have to put too much work in to keep that audience up. As well as that, his show was an hour long. There’s not a lot of work to put in for that length show. I know because I’ve done them. But I think he’s up against it now. I think 2fm is up against it. You gotta remember, from about ‘91 until 2001, nothing could touch 2fm. What a line up they had. Ian Dempsey on the Breakfast Show, handing Gerry Ryan a quarter of a million listeners. If you win breakfast, you win the day. Gerry’s delighted he’s getting a quarter of a million listeners at 9 o’clock in the morning. Gerry handing that on to Larry Gogan, followed by Gareth O’Callaghan, Barry Lang at 5pm, I was on the Hotline, Dave Fanning, Mark Cagney, Mike Moloney. What a line-up. I don’t think you’ll ever see that line-up again.
Are you friendly with Gareth O’Callaghan?
No. I’d know him from the pirate days.
I wasn’t very impressed by his talk after it was implied that Gerry Ryan’s death was coke related.
Yeah. Neither was I. There was no need for that. I thought, look, the guy is only dead. I was disappointed with him because Gerry’s family were going to be reading things like that. Was it a publicity stunt to get more people listening to his show, his station? It just kind of stuck out, didn’t it? Like, where did that come from? Little curve-ball from the left hand side of the field that you wouldn’t be expecting. So I don’t know...