Tuesday 20 August 2019

Ian Dempsey on the late Tony Fenton: 'His death only hit me in the last few weeks'

Ian Dempsey and Tony Fenton
Ian Dempsey and Tony Fenton

Presenter Ian Dempsey has said he still thinks about his late pal Tony Fenton "all the time" as he faces into his first Christmas without him.

Staff at Today FM were left reeling after the music star's death from cancer in March.

His good friend has said that Tony has left a void in the broadcaster's Marconi House HQ that will never be filled.

"I think about him every day. He was top class. He's really missed around the place. He was a really stylish guy and he never had a bad word to say about anybody," he told the Herald.

"It's only just in the last few weeks that it has actually hit me. It was a little bit like, 'Jesus, he's actually not coming back.'

"I can still hear his voice in my head and see his face and I was thinking: 'I'm never going to have those chats with him again or those great lunches'.

"He was always going out and about, going to gigs and was a good bit of craic."

Dempsey will be taking centre stage at the Light Up a Life event for Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross on December 6.

He's been supporting the fundraiser for the past few years, and said this year's remembrance event would be even more meaningful in the wake of Tony's passing.

"He (Tony) was always a great supporter of it and also of our whole Shave or Dye thing every year, so this year it's a bit more poignant, given that we lost Tony," he said.

"The hospice is a fantastic cause to support. I meet a lot of the clients out there and it really puts a lot of things into perspective.

"It stops you being so greedy and sweating the small stuff," he added.

Meanwhile, Dempsey said he was in no hurry to follow in the footsteps of his pal Ray D'Arcy and nab a primetime TV slot.

He joined forces with Louise Duffy a few months ago to co-present TV3's The Seven O'Clock Show when Martin King and Lucy Kennedy were on holidays.

But the former Den presenter said he much prefers anchoring a radio show as it's more low-maintenance and is far less time-consuming.

"I wouldn't mind doing a TV show, but I'm not obsessed with it. It's not a dream of mine. I worked in telly for 15 years. It's a real pain getting make-up done and all that.

"I enjoy it and I did the Seven O'Clock show for four days ,but it really takes a lot out of your day.

"Maybe I've become selfish in my advancing years or something. But I'm very happy with where I am."

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