Monday 18 December 2017

Mooney hits gym to cope with ear problem

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

RADIO and TV star Derek Mooney lost a half a stone on the treadmill trying to distract himself from tinnitus.

The RTE broadcaster endures constant ringing in his ears and even has to sleep with the television on. Mooney told the Irish Independent that he's put up with tinnitus for 12 years but it's deteriorated recently.

And in a desperate attempt to distract from his hearing problems, he's working out in the gym.

The 43-year-old's doctor advised him that exercise is a way of finding some relief for the condition that has no cure.

"You wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy. I've had it for years but the intensity has gone up so badly since December. It's gotten so bad, I find myself walking around with a transistor radio. At night I have to sleep with the TV on," he said.

The 'Mooney Goes Wild' presenter now trains for an hour in the gym each day and has shed a half a stone since Christmas.

"Doctors advise tinnitus sufferers to go to the gym. So I've been doing 30 minutes on a cross trainer and 20 minutes on a bike every day. It's really the only way I can keep myself distracted from the ringing but it has led to me losing weight which friends and family have noticed," he said.

However, the broadcaster said he believed his condition would not affect his radio career or TV work, which includes hosting RTE's new 'Fame' talent search. "There is no cure but if I'm kept busy, the tinnitus doesn't affect me as much," he said.

Mooney was speaking as filming of auditions began in Dublin's new Grand Canal Theatre yesterday.

"At least I don't look fat next to all these young dancers and singers," he joked.

Among those who turned up seeking fame was Fiona Carty (21) from Finglas, Dublin.

"I was very nervous but that's what you want. You need a bit of adrenaline. You're better when you're singing in front of someone than when you are on your own," said Ms Carty.

The DCU business student said she had been up preparing for the audition since 7am.

Jonathan Killen (23) from Howth reckoned the RTE auditions could be his last chance of fame.

"I did musicals in secondary school but since I've starting college I haven't been involved with that many productions. For me this is my last shot, "he said.

Both contestants claimed to be a "bit too young" to remember 'Fame' the original US TV show.

Starting on RTE1 on April 11 for a 10-week run, the two winners of the talent search will star in a West End run of the production.

Along with the judging panel of actor and director Simon Delaney, stage producer Robert C Kelly and West End star Jacinta Whyte, listening to the young performers yesterday was the theatre's owner Harry Crosbie.

"I think these kids are incredibly brave to be doing this. I know I wouldn't be able to do it but then I have no talent," he said.

Irish Independent

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