Entertainment Radio

Tuesday 22 October 2019

'I've never really done a proper day's work in my life' - 2FM's longest serving DJ Dave Fanning

Dave Fanning
Dave Fanning
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

The longest-serving presenter on 2fm has said he feels he's "never worked a day in my life" as the station marks its 40th anniversary tomorrow.

Set up on May 31, 1979, Radio 2 was set up to compete with youth-oriented stations such as Radio Luxembourg, as well as pirate radio stations.

RTE's best-known muso Dave Fanning was poached from pirate station Big D and is the only presenter still a firm fixture on its schedule, four decades later.

"I suppose it is kind of amazing thinking that it's been 40 years but to be honest, I don't really think about it," he said.

Three amigos: Mark Cagney, Gerry Ryan and Dave Fanning photographed in RTÉ in 1985 as Radio 2 (now 2fm) was beginning to grow its audience share up to its heyday in the late 1980s and 1990s. Photo: RTÉ Stills Library
Three amigos: Mark Cagney, Gerry Ryan and Dave Fanning photographed in RTÉ in 1985 as Radio 2 (now 2fm) was beginning to grow its audience share up to its heyday in the late 1980s and 1990s. Photo: RTÉ Stills Library

"I've never done a proper day's work in my life. It's all been music and movies and stuff that I love and you can never complain.

"Find something you love doing and you'll never work a day in your life.

Left to right: Larry Gogan, Marty Whelan, Jimmy Greeley, Gerry Ryan, Lorcan Murray and Jim O’Neill c 1982. Photo: RTÉ Stills Library
Left to right: Larry Gogan, Marty Whelan, Jimmy Greeley, Gerry Ryan, Lorcan Murray and Jim O’Neill c 1982. Photo: RTÉ Stills Library

"I still absolutely love it. I just want to keep going."

And he said he doesn't know why he has been the one to last the pace. He established the slot that became known as Fanning's Fab 50, where listeners picked their favourite songs, with U2 tracks usually featuring prominently.

Larry Gogan with singer Joe Cuddy in 1972.
Larry Gogan with singer Joe Cuddy in 1972.

"I really don't know why I'm still there. It's not like I've achieved something the others didn't.

"A lot of it has to do with luck and the powers-that-be still wanting you there," he said.

In the original line-up were Marty Whelan, Jimmy Greely, Philip King, Jim O'Neill, Larry Gogan and the late Gerry Ryan.

Fanning said he already knew Gerry from pirate radio and the pair quickly became firm friends.

"Radio in the 1980s was the golden era in many ways. It was the era of the superstar DJ and I remember Gerry himself saying it was the only time that he felt like he was a member of Led Zeppelin. Those late-night programmes were unbelievable," he said.

Gerry's daughter Lottie said it was hard to believe the station has been around so long.

Dave added: "I feel like I've been there since day one, it's obviously in my blood. It's a very exciting time ahead for the station and I'm delighted to be a part of the next chapter."

Read more: 2fm turns 40: What’s next for RTÉ’s youth radio brand?

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