Tuesday 27 September 2016

Derek Mooney: 'I'd return to radio slot Ray D'Arcy was given in a heartbeat

Sharon McGowan

Published 28/04/2015 | 02:30

Derek Mooney
Derek Mooney

It's been less than six months since Derek Mooney quit his radio show, but the presenter has revealed he would return in a heartbeat if given the chance.

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The former RTE Radio One star left his weekday afternoon slot late last year to take up a new role as wildlife executive for RTE television and radio programmes, and admitted he has been having some second thoughts about the move.

Derek Mooney
Derek Mooney

"I still don't know if I made the right decision," he said.

Despite being busy in his new job, Derek said he'd love to return to his radio show.

Ray D’Arcy and Socky Reunite to launch World Down Syndrome Day
Ray D’Arcy and Socky Reunite to launch World Down Syndrome Day

"If they said to me tomorrow morning 'Would you go back?' I'd go back immediately. One hundred percent. Then I'd see if we can continue to make the nature programmes," he said.

"Of course it's still very early days and we are very busy with the Dawn Chorus and everything else."

Derek Mooney
Derek Mooney

He might miss being in front of the microphone, but the broadcaster also revealed he doesn't tune in to listen to his replacement.

However, Derek says there's no bad blood between himself and the former Today FM presenter since Ray took over his slot on the station.

On air: Ray D’Arcy had Gay Byrne as his first guest on his new radio show. Photo: Brian McEvoy
On air: Ray D’Arcy had Gay Byrne as his first guest on his new radio show. Photo: Brian McEvoy

"Genuinely, I'm not curious [about Ray's Show] because you'll only start thinking 'he's better' or 'he's worse' or 'I'd do it this way or that'," he explained. "So what can I say? I don't listen.

"But I did meet Ray in RTE before his show started. He stood up from his desk and said, 'Can we just get something straight? You wanted to leave, right?'.

"I said that I did and wished him and his team the best of luck."

Speaking to the RTE Guide, the openly gay presenter blasted the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland after they upheld a complaint against The Mooney Show over a discussion on same-sex marriage in August.

"Of course, I have a private, personal view on the matter [same-sex marriage], just as most people have," he said.

"But the rules are that I can't state my opinion.

"To me that's ridiculous, but those are the rules."

Derek became a well known face on Irish television after he presented game shows on RTE for many years and admitted he used to give people free scratch cards when they asked him about the show for a "bit of craic".

"When I was presenting the national lottery shows on TV, I would be stopped every day by little old women," he said.

"So I'd always have scratch cards in my pocket which I would hand out and say to them, 'Don't tell them I gave you that, especially if you win'. It was a bit of craic."

Irish Independent

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