Tuesday 17 September 2019

'RTE would be foolish to ignore Greg O'Shea's popularity' - Mairead Ronan defends Love Island winner's 2FM gig

‘I’d be a psycho if I wasn’t nervous about my first radio gig’, says Mairead
‘I’d be a psycho if I wasn’t nervous about my first radio gig’, says Mairead
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Presenter Mairead Ronan has said media organisations would be "foolish" to ignore Greg O'Shea's massive popularity after he landed a plum gig on the 2fm breakfast show.

Eyebrows were raised after RTE revealed the Love Island winner would be joining Doireann Garrihy for nine weeks as Eoghan McDermott films Love Island Australia.

Many questioned the choice of stand-in, given Greg's lack of presenting experience, but Mairead - who has worked in radio since she was 21 - said it was an obvious choice for RTE.

"People could say the exact same thing about Maura Higgins, that she has no TV experience but has just landed a TV gig," she said.

Greg with Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Greg with Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda

"Sometimes people are just talented and they're relatable with the public.

"He has just won what's essentially the biggest popularity contest in Europe right now, so media organisations would be foolish to ignore that. It's not a job forever, it's only filling in for a few weeks and if it works out great and if it doesn't, no harm done.

"It's a nice spin-off from Love Island for him."

This Monday will see the TV star step into her first-ever presenting gig on radio when she takes the reins on the Today FM lunchtime slot from 12pm.

Despite her years in broadcasting, she admits the nerves are jangling as she gears up to start the job.

"I would be a psycho if I didn't feel nervous, I'm having nervous dreams and everything. I just can't wait to start," she said.

"I feel like a rugby player before a big match - I just want to get on with it now. Although hopefully I'll last longer than 80 minutes.

"I'm so excited about it. I was 21 when I started in radio, I was still a baby and I have spent all of my adult life working for this but I've never had my own radio show before.

"It's like, 'OK, you've done producing for years, next week you're going to be presenting' and I'm moving into a different space for myself. So I hope to go in gentle but strong.

"It's like being a camera-man for years and then suddenly being expected to step in front of the camera.

"But I grew up here and they're like another family to me in a way, and I keep reminding myself, if I can dance on the telly in front of the nation at 6.30pm every Sunday, I can get over the nerves of anything because those nerves were like nothing else."

Read more: 'I can't be Muireann and I don't want to be' - Mairead Ronan on her new Today FM radio job, relationships and sexism

'It was a huge shock at the time - I wasn't expecting it' - Muireann O'Connell on departure from Today FM 

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