BROADCASTER John Murray said that being back on air was the best birthday present he could have wished for.
The RTE star was presented with a surprise birthday cake at the end of his morning show as violinist Oonagh Keogh played Happy Birthday.
John said that after battling depression, he was delighted to be behind the mic at RTE again.
"2013 had been a very forgettable year up till now but being back on air, I'm back doing what I love doing most," he told the Herald.
"This is the best present I could get."
The father-of-two was absent for six months with the illness.
However, after talking movingly on air about the "dread and anxiety" which had laid him low for seven months, it has been full steam ahead for the radio man who sees his role as "cheering people up" on his morning show.
He revealed how his battle with depression had taken any worry out of hitting the half century.
"I am very happy. There is no worry about growing old or anything like that," he said.
"No bucket lists of things I feel I need to do. What this year has taught me is to take one day at a time. I don't look too far forward. I enjoy life," he said.
The former Government press secretary previously paid tribute to the support his wife Miriam had given him during his time off air.
So it was fitting they chose to share lunch together in a Harold's Cross cafe following his radio show.
While last night the couple's two children Stephen – who turns 24 on Christmas Day – and Catherine (21) cooked a special dinner for their father at their south Dublin home.
John's series producer on his radio show Margaret Curley also celebrated her 50th birthday this week.
"That's one hundred years between the two of us. We should know everything so," Mr Murray joked.
DECLINING OFFERS FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW TO TALK FURTHER ON THE SUBJECT, THE RADIO HOST SAYS ALL HE WANTS TO DO NOW IS GET ON WITH HIS JOB AS A BROADCASTER.
"I am keen now to change the focus with things like talking to the leaders on Operation Transformation on my radio show and hearing their stories.
"It puts things in perspective, sometimes you can take things too seriously worrying about where you are going to be in a year," he said