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Radio station relegation is on the cards

When radio is good, it is very, very good and when it is bad, it is awful. This week saw one of our radio greats reach the pinnacle of Irish broadcasting.

Ryan Tubridy began reviewing books for RTE Radio 2's Poparama when he was 12. Over the intervening years, his natural ability, focus and dedication to his craft have put him in the elite when it comes to broadcasting.

However, just like the stars of the Premiership must shudder at the lack of skill in the lower football divisions, so too must Tubridy occasionally gasp when he flicks the dial on his radio.

On Sunday morning he may even have been driven to tears.

Irish soccer fans have been celebrating with two former League Of Ireland players, after they secured places in the next year's Premiership. Dublin 98FM's Now That's What I Call Sport! scored something of a coup when presenter Adrian Barry announced he had the two on the phone line.

Cue audio of Wolverhampton's delirious supporters hailing Stephen Ward and his teammates after they won promotion, and then Keith Fahey's goal that had helped his team, Birmingham, on their way to the Premiership.

"Keith, you enjoyed listening to the commentary of your goal?" asked the enthusiastic Barry.

"No I didn't. I really hate scoring thrilling, important goals. In fact, I hate football and much rather a tantalising game of tiddlywinks," replied the former St Patrick's Athletic player.

Ok, so Fahey did not say that. At least I'm pretty sure he didn't say that, but the line was so bad, it would have been easier to ascertain the meaning of life than decipher what Fahey had actually said.

To make matters worse, every now and again, a woman's voice could be heard muttering inanely in the background.

This, we were informed, was Keith's GPS Navigation System.

Radio is all about the listener experience.

This is the end all and be all. Bad phone lines, silly, obvious questions and poor, unrevealing interviews are the enemy of good radio.

When asked, was he looking forward to "having a crack at Steven Gerard and Frank Lampard" next season, Fahey replied: "The standard of the games are frightening. They either make you a better player or will crumble you."

The standard of good sports shows, such as Newstalk's Off The Ball, is also frightening. The boys at Dublin's 98 must fear relegation.

Dublin 98FM Now That's What I Call Sport!