Sunday 17 February 2019

Ryan Tubridy thanks 'kind' Tony Fenton for taking him on when he was an intern at RTE

Ryan Tubridy and Tony Fenton. (Picture: The Irish Sun)
Ryan Tubridy and Tony Fenton. (Picture: The Irish Sun)

Elaine McCahill

Ryan Tubridy has said that he will always be thankful to Tony Fenton for taking him under his wing when he started out.

Speaking this morning Ryan said he was upset at hearing of Tony’s passing adding that, “if you believe in heaven, the good news is that heaven just got itself a DJ”.

Tony Fenton at work in Today FM
Tony Fenton at work in Today FM

“I started in RTE some years ago, when I was about 23 or 24 and I was running around making tea and coffee for whoever would take it from me,” he said.

“Then one of the guys turned around and said: ‘You seem like a nice fellow, you can come and help me out and work with me a little bit’ and that was Tony.

“Tony was just kind, he was one of life’s kind people and he was decent and honourable and fun.

“He was just one of those people who was universally liked,” he added.

Tony Fenton is inducted into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame
Tony Fenton is inducted into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame

The pair went for lunch a few weeks ago and Ryan said he knew that it could be his last chance to say thank you to the radio icon who helped him out at the start of his career.

“Tony got sick and he came on the Late Late Show a while ago to talk about it and he seemed in good form and in relatively good health,” he continued.

“But then I started hearing on the grapevine that he wasn’t doing well and I got a notion to text him and we met up.

“We went for lunch about three or four weeks ago and it was Tony, but not as I knew him.

Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy

“He was talking in a slow manner and he seemed a little unwell and yet for all of that unwellness he had an irrepressible spirit and he kept going.

“I said to him: ‘I want to say thank you for being so kind to me when I started off because you didn’t have to be and I just wanted to say it you now’.

“And a part of me was saying it because I knew it might be the last chance I’d have to say it and as it turns out it was,” he added.

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