Tony returning to air after cancer fight

By Elaine McCahill

VETERAN DJ Tony Fenton has said he can't wait to get back on air after five months of cancer treatment.

The Today FM presenter spoke of his battle with the disease at a ceremony where he was inducted into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame.

"Most days are good. When I come out of the hospital I have two or three bad days where I have no appetite to eat," he said.

"Then that goes away and it's back to normal.

"I've got two more sessions to do at the end of this month and then at the end of next month.

"Then I hope to be back on air in November.

"I've taken five months off because I want to get through all the treatment first and then come back."

Fenton, who has been on the air for 25 years, admitted that his Today FM bosses encouraged him to take a break while receiving treatment.


"I actually didn't want to take so much time off but the bosses said, 'Really, do. Take the time out because you'll need the rest. And there will be days you do wake up and not want to get out of bed'," he said.

"They were right, so I've been doing a lot of sleeping, which is why I look so fresh."

Fenton, who has one of the most recognisable voices on Irish radio, said he was chuffed to have been inducted into the radio broadcasting hall of fame.

"The phone call telling me the good news really made my day, because that day I was feeling a bit low," he told the Herald.

"Staying on this long is an achievement."

His long career is no surprise - he readily admits that he always knew he would become a broadcaster.

"I did my Junior Cert and then I told my mother that I didn't want to go back to school, but of course she wanted to know what I was going to do," he said.

"I always knew that I wanted to work in radio, and I was lucky in that sense because a lot of my friends didn't know what they wanted to do."

The 53-year-old admitted that the secret to his success is loving his job.

"I really do love my job and I love what I do, which I believe is one of the most important things in life," he said.

"If I'm interviewing a band I'm constantly thinking of questions to ask them, whether I'm having my morning coffee or on the drive in.

"I'm always thinking about the job and the music."

The broadcaster, from Glasnevin, also shared his advice for anyone hoping to break into broadcasting.

"You have to get into radio broadcasting for the right reason," he said.

"I've seen many people come and go in my time, but the ones who love it and stick at it are the ones who succeed."