Sunday 16 June 2019

'I don't feel sidelined but it's odd not to be with Jen' - Bernard O'Shea

Bridget and Eamon
Bridget and Eamon
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

COMIC Bernard O’Shea has insisted he isn’t being sidelined by RTE as he moves away from breakfast radio – but admits it feels “unusual” not to be working closely with Jennifer Zamparelli.

He said his partnership with Jen on the radio show, as well as Republic Of Telly and Bridget And Eamon, had come to a natural close having “run its course”.

The comedian and former Breakfast Republic host told the Herald he is “happy” for Jen, who will begin hosting her own show next month.

He said he is hoping to focus on his TV career as he takes a step back from radio.

Bernard O'Shea on the Late Late Show. Photo: RTE
Bernard O'Shea on the Late Late Show. Photo: RTE

Bernard (40) said he is optimistic he will again team up with Marty Morrissey, with whom he starred on Dancing With The Stars and their recent collaboration Marty And Bernard’s Big Adventure.

“I’m concentrating on telly stuff. I’d be hopeful me and Marty will be doing more together and I am looking at a few other projects with Shinawil that are outside Ireland,” he said.

“We are trying to see what opportunities are there, especially post-Brexit.”

Asked if he felt sidelined now Jen has her own show, he said: “No, I’m happy for her.

“It is unusual for us because we own a company together, so we’d meet and be talking often. She jokes, ‘I can never get away from you’.

“But honestly, I am just finished with radio for a little while. I hope I get to hear her, I know she will be excellent.

Bernard O’Shea and Karen Byrne Credit: kobpix
Bernard O’Shea and Karen Byrne Credit: kobpix

“I suppose it has been nine years in a box together, on the radio, on Bridget And Eamon and Republic Of Telly – it’s odd because we won’t be on-screen together.

“But we do meet regularly. You work with people then you work with new people – they’re not dead.

“It was very amicable, one of those things that has run its course.”

Bernard recently welcomed his third child with wife Lorna and said that played a part in his decision to step away from 2FM.

“I just have to concentrate on scripts and there was stuff I wanted to do,” he said.

“We had the birth of our third child and also my dad passed away, so it was the best time for me to step away.

It was all amicable – the media want a brawl to have happened,” he added, laughing. “I’d say it like it is if it did. The guys wanted to move in different directions – but I’d work with Keith [Walsh], with Jen and with Lottie [Ryan] again.”

Bernard announced he was leaving the station earlier this month as 2FM bosses announced the biggest shakeup in years.

The morning slot will see Doireann Garrihy join forces with Eoghan McDermott to entertain the masses over their cereal, while Jen will branch out on her own.

She will present her own show from June 10, on air from 10am to 1pm every day.

RTE 2FM head Dan Healy said of the decision: “Jen has been an integral part of the 2FM changing schedule and is now ready to spread her wings and move into her own space.

“I believe Jen will appeal to young audiences, as she has that instant likeability and humour.”

Meanwhile, Jenny Greene will host the station’s drivetime slot, with Tracey Clifford on the lunchtime bill.


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