| 12.8°C Dublin

I'm good value for my €220k RTE salary, says Mooney


Derek Mooney. Photo: Mark Condren

Derek Mooney. Photo: Mark Condren

Derek Mooney. Photo: Mark Condren

RTE star Derek Mooney has said that the controversy over presenter's salaries is down to people just being unhappy hearing what others earn.

The radio host claimed he provided good value for money and draws in enough advertisers to justify his wages.

The 45-year-old was RTE's seventh highest paid presenter in 2011, earning €220,000

"I'm very lucky to earn what I do today, but I can tell you I work a full week and it's hard. People are always going to be unhappy about what people earn but I believe I give value for money," he told the Herald.

"The Mooney programme has doubled its audience since it moved into that slot, and the telly audience for the shows I've done has always been very high, we sells lots of advertising."

Proof of his appeal came this weekend when he broadcasted through Saturday night on RTE Radio One, bringing the Dawn Chorus from midnight to 6am from Cushkinny March in Co Cork.

While on Sunday night viewers on RTE1 TV saw him front the first episode of three part BAI- funded series, Secrets of the Irish Landscape.

As an RTE employee – as opposed to a contractor – Mooney received a pay cut in 2009 along with the rest of the station's employees.

However he said this had been done willingly.

"I have never once objected to a salary cut, and anytime it's put forward, I have taken it, and never made a big deal out of it," he said.

Working in RTE for over 20 years, he made his first appearance on kid's show Anything Goes in 1985 and rose to prominence fronting nature programmes on both RTE and BBC which led to wildlife show, Mooney Goes Wild on Sunday mornings.

Other TV credits include You're A Star, Fame: The Musical, lottery show Winning Streak and The Genealogy Roadshow.