Thursday 20 June 2019

Tubs’ radio love affair

Ryan Tubridy is on his travels to Sligo once again, broadcasting his popular Radio One Show from Stephen Street Car Park next Tuesday. Here, he talks to Paul Deering about life, society and people

Paul Deering

He enjoys a walk on Dun Laoighaire Pier when he can, a sort of me time to get away from it all.

And, for Ryan Tubridy, it is a hectic life he leads. Presenting a Radio One show each morning and the ever popular Late Late Show on Friday nights is some schedule to keep up with but there's no slowing down yet for the 46 year old.

"I'm still relatively young and I haven't any intention of leaving the party, at least this side of the career just yet. I am enjoying it immensely and I feel very comfortable in my skin doing it so I'm not planning an exit strategy just yet."

He brings the Radio One Roadcaster to Stephen Street Car Park next Tuesday for his 9am show, a journey made several times over the past number of years in conjunction with Bord Failte's promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way.

He says he loves being on the road, meeting and greeting people.

"The last Late Late Show of the year is on May 31st and then I have a day to recover and then bags packed and off we go and I've been doing it for the past five years orthereabouts so it's a working holiday with the emphasis on holiday.

He agrees it's all go but he says he does carve out some time for himself.

"I like to read, put the feet up, light a fire and watch a good TV programme or walk on the pier in Dunlaoghaire, get an ice cream and if I can but I can never get out fishing, I love to do a bit of fishing if I can on a lake somewhere but but there's nothing like a few pints of Guinness with the right people at the right time in the right company, that's probably the best."

He enjoys his privacy but as he says while he's a private person in a public job, "I can do both."

And, the public can be fickle too, Ratings are the name of the game in the radio and TV business so there's always that pressure.

He's obviously conscious of these and says the media world has changed so dramatically in the recent past five to ten years.

"It's a changed landscape so even looking at the Late Late for next season we are looking at how to adapt and that's what we need to do.

"We find the radio strangely, isn't under the same threat as the TV. People are very loyal to their radio, they like the live radio experience, they like the sense that it is like a little event every day, that you're their friend at nine o'clock. It's a nice catch up over coffee sort of thing but the TV is different and we do have to look at that seriously," he says.

Apart from ratings there's now the modern scourge of abuse dished out on social media to have to deal with.

"I'm on Instagram and I enjoy being on it. I don't follow anyone on Instagram but I have a lot of people who follow what I dobut that's largely because of work. You want to invite another demographic, another generation into your World and say look, this is what we're doing here.

"Social media is fine until it becomes anti-social mediaand at which point it becomes toxic and I hate it and I fear a lot really for the younger generation because the pressure they are under to do things, to look and act a certain way I think is too much.

"Unfortunately, the genie is out of the bottle there so we're stuck with it. It's a question of adapting and trying to educateto make it a kinder place to be.

"In many ways it is up's no use people, particularly parents pointing the finger at the Government or at Facebook or Snapchat.

"The clue about parenting is in the word, you've just got to parent. You've got to rule the house and that includes the phones. It's up to you and it can be done," he says.

Whatever about connecting with people on Instgram, Ryan says you can't beat meeting people face to face.

"I absolutely love it. It's my favourite thing. I'm a people person.

"I sincerely enjoy shaking hands, kising babies, visiting towns and villages around the country. I actually love doing it so I don't have to put on a face. I don't have to pick up a game.

"I simply get up, walk out of the house and get busy, I love it. I'm very lucky," he says.

Ryan is aware of a changing Ireland too but he hopes we, as a people don't lose what we

"I think we really need to take a reach into the middle of the 19th century and remember our story and how we were scattered and where we landed and how we settled elsewhere and sometimes it becomes your turn to do a bit of welcoming in and I think in that sense if we keep an eye on our own history it will help us with our own present if that makes sense and allow us to be a bit more open minded.

"The only thing we have to try to knock on the head if we can is the housing crisis and that's another day's work. We can't say we are living in the perfect world when we have got so many children living in hotels, that's not right, so there's plenty to be doneand plenty to be worrying about the to discuss but ultimately to be fixed," he says.

While he is in a position to express opinions and he often does through his show he doesn't see himself as an influencer on Government.

"I don't think that's my role and I certainly don't know if anything I say has any impact to decide, I simply say what I feel and do what I do and then after that it position isn't to judge but to but certinly is to comment and I am only ever looking for everyone to win.

"I try not to knock or belittle or be just unpleasant but I love to try to highlight things, encourage people and to look at the brighter side of things if I can."

And, he's in no hurry to change direction just yet and when pushed on the platform he prefers the most, he doesn't hesitate in saying radio.

"It's a much more natural environment because you're listening and it's intimate and your're not too concerned about all those eyes. Like, when you have eyes looking at you, two hundred in a room and another half a million on TVs around the country you become quite self conscious and you have a programme that has a legacy that makes you probably a little more self conscious and that's different whereas the radio feels like you're down at your kitchen table eating toast with some friends."

Sligo Champion