At home with the Ryans -- how the nation shared in a father's joy
Published 01/05/2010 | 05:00
THEIR triumphs and growing pains were often discussed with the nation as devoted dad Gerry Ryan shared with his listeners the trials of being a parent.
The radio presenter's willingness to delve into his own family life, with details of Mrs Ryan and the kids, endeared him to his legions of fans.
Ryan had five children with his estranged wife Morah -- Charlotte (24), Rex (20), Bonnie (17), Elliot (14), and Babette (10). The children were regularly in the limelight as they attended premieres and concerts with their famous father.
As recently as Wednesday night they were photographed at the premiere of 'Iron Man 2' at Dublin's Savoy cinema, although without their dad. All three daughters have followed in their father's footsteps and dipped their toes into the entertainment world.
Eldest daughter Charlotte, also known as Lottie, has recently finished a pilot for a new TV series looking at the children of celebrities that is expected to air in the Autumn. She no doubt got some tips off her dad as she presented 'Life As A VIC' (Very Important Child).
Speaking recently, she said she was really close to her father and described him as an "unbelievable dad" who had instilled a strong work ethic in all his children.
Three years ago middle daughter Bonnie enjoyed a brief pop career with girlband Lady Nada who supported Westlife and Shayne Ward on tour.
Ryan later told how he put his foot down and insisted his daughter finished her schooling before carrying on with her music interests.
"I will be forever the evil father because of it, but I told her she has to do her Leaving Cert first and get her exams. Education is very important and it will all pay off in the end," he said last February. He added how pop impresario Louis Walsh urged him to let Bonnie keep going when she was doing so well, but he wanted her to complete her exams.
Meanwhile despite her young years, Babette, the baby of the family, has already shown early promise as an actress.
Last year, father and daughter stood in line with hundreds of other children and their parents to audition for a role in the musical 'Annie'. Babette impressed the producers and secured a spot in the recall for the orphans.
Speaking about Lottie in February, Ryan said he was delighted that her media career was taking off and that the concept for her new TV show was a "great idea".
"I mean, if it doesn't come naturally to Lottie, then it's not going to come naturally to anyone," he added.
However, Lottie revealed that having such a famous dad can close as many doors as it opens and she had to prove herself twice as much as anyone else.
"I have come across so many people that don't want anything to do with me because I'm the daughter of Gerry Ryan and they are under the impression that I feel I can just waltz in and do as I please.
"I did the hard work that everyone is supposed to do and I'm not going to lie and say doors aren't opened for you, of course they are and that's amazing.
"But if I don't have something to back it up with the criticism will be twice as hard on me, so I nearly have to double prove myself."
Despite the break-up of the Ryan marriage in 2008, the radio host returned to the family home in Clontarf last Christmas to spend the day with Morah and the kids.
"We have a very big family, five children, so there's an awful lot of Santa still going on. I have done the turkey for the past 25 years and I will be doing the same this time around and please God that'll never change."
"It is my favourite time of the year," he said.