DJ Ruth Scott: 'The idea of being a bride terrifies me.'
The 2fm DJ discusses finding love and scaring herself now and then with the thoughts of a big, white wedding.
“People always say you will meet someone when you least expect it, and I was ‘least expecting it’ for twelve years, because I was single for that long. Rob is brilliant and so encouraging, and while it’s great to be comfortable on your own, it is also really nice to have someone who has your back.”
I’m having tea with 2fm DJ Ruth Scott in Brother Hubbard’s on Capel Street, and she is explaining how she met her partner, Rob Morgan, two-and-a-half years ago at a “Tedfest” table quiz night - Rob is the son of the late Father Ted star, Dermot Morgan.
“I turned up because I thought it could be quite interesting, and as soon as I saw Rob, I thought he was quite hot,” she says. “We went for many coffees at first, because I was so out of practice at dating, but you know, I don’t give a damn about being single for twelve years, as it was worth it to meet Rob. He just really has my back and he is always encouraging me. Plus I think it is good to spend time by yourself, as I am very conscious of mental health and think it’s important to be able to be on your own, even to turn your phone off and be mindful of yourself, or just get up a little earlier and take time to breathe, because we can always be on the go.”
Rob works in the Merrion Hotel as a trainee management accountant, and Ruth likes that they work in totally different areas. He moved in with Ruth last year, and while she had imagined it might be difficult after living alone for so long, it has all worked out brilliantly.
“We move around each other nicely,” she smiles. “We both do our own thing too, and he plays his sport and meet his mates, and I meet mine, so it’s great. He has an understanding of my business because of his dad, and has great stories about Def Leppard and Pat Kenny playing football in his garden. I feel so lucky to have met him, as he’s great, and it just shows that even if you have been single for years, it is never too late. Rob has met my family, God help him, as an intimate Scott family gathering of my mother, siblings, their other halves and their kids is thirty people, whereas he has two brothers.”
Once two people meet and move in together, talk naturally turns to marriage and children, but Ruth let Rob know fairly early on that she didn’t want to have a family.“I am just not a baby person and neither is he, so it’s a perfect match,” she says. “I am very lucky to have met someone with the same mindset around children, as it can cause relationships to fall apart, but I got it out there pretty quickly. From having gone on dates before, lots of men think women in their thirties are just looking for baby daddies, and that is not true.”
Ruth is also not dreaming of the big white wedding, as although her job demands gaining people’s attention, the idea of being in the bridal spotlight doesn’t appeal. “I am in the public eye, but the idea of being a bride terrifies me,” she laughs. “I am shy about that kind of stuff, and have never been the kind to dream about a big white wedding. I am not religious and with my colouring, white is not flattering! Rob has moved in and met the family, and he’s a keeper. I would like to make some commitment, maybe a civil ceremony, but we are not in a rush.”
Ruth is from Elphin in Roscommon, and was the youngest of eight children, although there was a big age gap between her and the seventh child. By the time her family moved to Roscommon Town when she was ten, everyone else was gone off to boarding school or work, so she was the only one living at home with her mum, Mary. Sadly, her dad Sean died of a heart attack when she was five, and she doesn’t have that many memories of him.
“I don’t know how my mum did it with eight children,” she says. “She didn’t have time to grieve, and she kept us fed and dressed, although it was hard financially. She was a miracle worker really, and she’s brilliant. There was one or two working, a couple in college on scholarship, and others in boarding school - my mum could teach the nation how to budget and spend wisely.”
As a child, Ruth was very quiet, which is ironic now as she makes her living from talking. She had a great group of friends in secondary school, and says that she would be mortified if a teacher gave out to her. “I was a bit of a goody two shoes,” she laughs. “I look back now and hate myself for it because I should have gone a bit wild.”
Ruth had hoped to study communications at DCU, but didn’t get the points, so went to the University of Limerick to do European Studies. While she also made great friends there, there was a lot of economics and politics on the syllabus, which was not where her strengths lay. She became involved in the college’s drama and radio societies, which she loved, and found that it gave her confidence, particularly when she made the final five of 2fm’s ‘DJ For A Day’ competition. She went to her local radio station, Shannonside in Roscommon, and they gave her a couple of weeks work experience, and she entered the competition again the following year in 1997 and won it - Ray Foley and Keith Cunningham were two of the other finalists.
Radio is a perfect fit for Ruth, who is chatty, warm and funny. 2fm gave her a couple of overnights slots, and she was doing bits and pieces for them when she got a call from Lorraine Keane, who asked her to do AA Roadwatch traffic reports on 2fm. She then worked on breakfast radio in Limerick, and in 98fm, before going back to 2fm.
“I think I have done every single shift in 2fm,” she says, “and now I am happily doing weekends with Paddy McKenna. I am very ambitious, although I keep it discreetly hidden, but I really would like to be on-air five days a week. I said it to Dan Healy, the new controller, and he gave me the kick up the a**e that I needed. He said he didn’t want me on five days, because he wanted to keep me on the weekends because he thought it was a really vibrant place. I was p**sed off with him for about 24 hours, and then I realised that he was right - the current weekend schedule for 2fm is amazing, with people like Larry Gogan and Dave Fanning. Paddy and I are doing great, and our figures are going really well and getting even better all the time. We get to travel a lot with that show all round the country, and have a really good relationship. We’re like brother and sister, but with less fighting.”
Ruth says that the realisation that Dan genuinely wanted her on weekends freed her up to focus her time during the week on other things that interested her. She has done a social media and digital marketing diploma, and writes car reviews for the website, www.wheelsforwomen.ie . “I learned how to ride a motorbike last year, and the guy who taught me asked me if I would like to review cars,” she says. “I told him that I didn’t really know about them, but he said lots of women buy cars and don’t know about them. So I don’t write about technical things, I write about normal things like is it easy to drive or whatever.”
Ruth has also taken on a new role with the Healthy Ireland Council, which tries to become involved in health promotions to make them accessible to everybody. As Herald readers will know, she has been involved with the Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon for years, which she loves, and says that this was one of the things that made her mindful of health promotion. “It sounds cheesy but the kids are our future, so it’s important to teach them from an early age about things like obesity,” she says. “The other thing I’ve done is a couple of acting courses at the Gaiety School of Acting, as I think you need to do something that frightens you every once in a while, whether it’s a bungee jump or a class. It scared me so much, but I really enjoyed it. I like acting as a hobby, and have really enjoyed the acting classes, but I don’t know if I actually want to become an actor. I have always had a notion about doing pantomime though.”
Weekenders with Ruth and Paddy, 2fm, Saturday and Sunday, 2-5 pm