'I'd like to think this bond wouldn't easily be broken' - John Murray addresses loyal listeners on last John Murray Show
John Murray bowed out of his RTÉ Radio 1 show this morning on a sentimental note.
The popular broadcaster, who had hosted The John Murray Show for five years in the 9-10am slot on the channel, wrapped up today after his show was axed by station bosses.
Murray (50) thanked his team and added, "I think we’d all agree it’s been a great adventure from start to finish. There have been very few dull days. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in that time."
He also thanked his guests on the show, who ranged from Victoria Beckham to Garth Brooks to Bertie Ahern, saying "You learn so much from the experience of others and their insights stand to you in life."
As well as thanks to his wife Miriam and grown-up children Stephen and Catherine, he took the opportunity to thank his listeners - a respectable 287,000 at last count.
"You, the listener, I met you as we travelled the country on our walks. The relationship we’ve forged through the letters, cards, texts, emails, and just listening I’d like to think this bond wouldn’t easily be broken," he said.
"It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to present the show for the last five years. Naturally I wish my successor all the best. I’m not going away. I will be back on Radio 1."
Murray took over the coveted 9am slot on Radio 1 after Ryan Tubridy departed for 2fm in 2010. He will return to Radio 1 in a different role in the autumn. His replacement has not yet been announced although Brendan O'Connor will take over for the rest of this month.
John's final hour in his 9am slot featured show regulars Brent Pope and Anne Gildea as well as Tommy Tiernan, listener Barry Kelly (who won Garth Brook tickets by singing on air from the top of his crane), Brendan O'Carroll, Mary O'Rourke and actor and writer Michael Harding.
“I’ve listened to the show a few times. I think you should stay on radio anyway, maybe a smaller channel, Radio Ballybofey!” joked Brendan O'Carroll, before adding, "I don’t think you understand how much you’re going to be missed. You’re very much a part of people’s mornings, part of people’s days. You’ve been very good to artists, not just me, and generous with your time. You’re going to be missed an awful lot.”
John replied that Brendan's thanks was making him "sentimental".
“It meant an awful lot to us. They say to us in RTE, ‘don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out’. You will go on to greater things. Obviously I know you will.” added Brendan.
Mary Harney praised his interview skills, "What I always found when talking with John was that he actually listened to what you had to say. I never had a mental image of John with a big list of questions. Sometimes people interview you and you feel they want to get on to their next question, not listen to what you have to say."
She added, "I actually feel you touched lives. People listened and thought about what you said with people. Some very very sad interviews over the years, really intensely sad, somehow you just guided those kind of interviews in your own way."
In 2013, the 50-year-old broadcaster took a six month break from the show due to depression. He returned in November that year and was open about his battle with the illness.
He later revealed he had felt the stigma of mental illness after his return to work.