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Taking over from Ray was my biggest challenge - Alison

She's worked on Irish airwaves for 16 years, but Today FM presenter Alison Curtis has revealed that stepping into Ray D'Arcy's shoes last year was the biggest challenge she had faced.

The Canadian DJ admitted she was daunted when her bosses called on her to cover for Ray when he left the station for RTE.

"I was on air when the news broke that Ray was leaving for RTE and I was still on air when the phone started ringing," she told the Diary.

"I got a call from our programme director asking if I would go in the next morning to cover the show, and that was one of the toughest moments of my career."

Alison, who presents the Saturday Breakfast show on the station, said it was a lot of pressure stepping into the role, given the massive following Ray had.

"You go in there thinking, oh my God, there a quarter of a million people listening that have been loyal to Ray for the last 15 years and now they're going to hear my voice, and you wonder how you're going to live up to that," she explained.

However, once she settled into her temporary slot Alison said she loved the experience.


"We noticed as the week went on that most people were just loyal Today FM listeners rather than just being Ray D'Arcy listeners, so they really welcomed me and for the five weeks I did the show I absolutely loved it," she said.

The mum-of-one is an early riser and revealed she's happiest in her weekend morning slot.

"I think I'm best in the morning time and with the Saturday morning show I have the luxury of being on air at the best time of the week - everyone is in a good mood. It makes my job easier," she said.

"I worked as a producer on the Ian Dempsey show for nine years so that meant starting at 6am, and I've also done a night show that finished up at midnight.

"Luckily, I'm able to adjust my body clock to my work schedule really easily. I've never worked regular nine to five office hours in my adult life."

With her hectic work and family life, the broadcaster admitted that she doesn't get back to her native Canada often, but she doesn't mind as she considers Ireland as her home now.

"I definitely miss my family, and I don't get home as often as I used to because I have a daughter now," she said.

"But here is home now and I'm happy here."