Tuesday 17 September 2019

Flashback: Remember these famous faces in Irish broadcasting?

Gay Byrne feeling the love with a Valentine's Day card, February 1993
Gay Byrne feeling the love with a Valentine's Day card, February 1993

They keep us company on Saturday nights, ease us into weekday mornings and make our after work commute that little bit more pleasant- we're looking back through the years at some of our favourite Irish broadcasters.

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Terry Wogan with Father Brian Darcy

Last month, Irish broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan was voted the greatest BBC broadcaster of the last 50 years. Wogan became a ‘national treasure’, in both Ireland and the UK, over the course of his long career. His BBC breakfast program Wake Up to Wogan amassed eight million regular listeners, which was the biggest radio audience Europe-wide at the time.

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Eamonn Andrews, Presenter of This Is Your Life, at home in his study in 1986

Eammon Andrews was born in Synge Street, Dublin, and began his broadcasting career as a freelance sports commentator with RTE. One year later he began presenting for BBC he was made the host of What’s My Line?

In 1955 he secured what was probably his best known gig, hosting This is Your Life, which he continued to do until the year of his death 1987 (excluding a four-year break from 1965-1968). He was honoured with the CBE in 1970 for his contribution to broadcasting.

Uaneen Fitzsimons

Uaneen Fitzsimons was a popular TV presenter, radio host and DJ. After working for BBC Northern Ireland she presented the Network 2 show No Disco and was a regular face at gigs around the country. Her passion for music was parlayed into a successful broadcasting career that was cut tragically short when she died in a car accident, aged 29.

Eurovision Song Contest presenters Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and Gerry Ryan in 1994

Cynthia Ní Mhurchú had a decade-long career with RTE as a journalist and presenter before switching the newsroom for the courtroom. She now works as a barrister.

Gerry Ryan was a much loved broadcaster with RTE. The Dublin-born presenter hosted The Gerry Ryan Show every weekday from 1988 until his death in 2010. He hosted a variety of television shows over his career including Secrets, Gerry Ryan Tonight and Operation Transformation.

Pat Kenny at the RTE studios, 1990

Pat Kenny was a veteran RTE presenter before moving to Newstalk to host ‘The Pat Kenny Show’. He preceded long-time host of The Late Late Show Gay Byrne in 1999, and continued to host the show for ten years.

Mike Murphy in the RTÉ radio studio, Dublin, circa December 1983

Another RTE veteran, Mike Murphy made his foray into broadcasting via a stint at the Dublin Shakespeare Society. He went on to become well known for hosting shows like The Live Mike and game show Winning Streak.

Michael Ryan

Do you recognise this fresh faced young lad? Starting out as a reporter with the Irish Independent and Evening Herald, Mike Murphy moved to RTE in 1966. In 1993, he devised the hit show Nationwide, which he continued to present with Mary Kennedy until 2011.

Broadcaster Gay Byrne on the air from Studio 5 in RTE's Radio Complex in Donnybrook, Dublin, 1984

Gay Byrne, or Gaybo or even Uncle Gay to some, is undeniably a broadcasting legend. He has achieved many milestones over his long career, including a 37-year run hosting The Late Late Show, the second longest running chat show in the world, and being the first person to introduce the Beatles on screen.

To see more photos likes these, explore our galleries at Independent Archives

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