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Radio star strikes right tone with charity album

HIS name is on the cover, but don't expect to hear the vocal stylings of broadcaster John Murray on his new Christmas CD.

The RTE Radio 1 host has unveiled 'A Murray Christmas', a collaborative album of songs and readings by some of Ireland's well-known faces.

Murray has brought together the likes of Sinead O'Connor, Danny O'Reilly, Declan O'Rourke, Sharon Shannon, John Spillane and legendary commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh, to support Irish charity Aware, which helps fight depression.

The DJ told the Irish Independent that although his name is in the title, he's sticking with radio and did not record any tracks for the festive project.

Speaking from the launch at Eason in Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin, Murray admitted: "A huge amount of effort went into this album, but I did very little work in the end. It's just a huge dedication by the artists really.

"They gave all their time because they all know it's such a good cause," he said.

A portion of the proceeds raised will be donated to Aware.

Murray stressed the importance of the charity's mental health campaign, especially in the lead up to Christmas which is an especially difficult time for those suffering.

"There's an expectation that you have to be jolly at this time of year and it's really tough, so people actually dread the next few weeks. Hopefully through the support of Aware, more volunteers will be able to do visits and help people deal with depression as best they can."

"We do a lot of stuff on the show about mental health and any time we feature it we get a lot of moving letters or emails about it. It's very important."

He added: "The organisation of this CD began in August and there were probably 60 people involved in the project in total."

Veteran newscaster Anne Doyle officially launched the album yesterday.

She said: "It (depression) can be a life-crippling condition for people so I have no doubt that it will do a great deal to help and raise much needed cash for the charity."

'A Murray Christmas' is now available to buy in shops nationwide, online at www.rte.ie/shop and on iTunes at a cost of €9.99.

Irish Independent