Dave Fanning bigraphy, stories - Irish rock journalist, film critic, television talk show host, DJ

Dave Fanning : biography

1955 -

Dave Fanning (born 1955) is an Irish rock journalist, DJ, retired film critic and veteran broadcaster. He currently hosts The 11th Hour on RTÉ Two and two radio shows: Drivetime with Dave on RTÉ Radio 1 and The Dave Fanning Show on RTÉ 2fm. He also fills in for other presenters on RTÉ Radio, including acting as a surrogate for Ryan Tubridy in June 2009. Likewise, John Creedon has worked as a surrogate for Fanning.

Due to his much celebrated friendship with U2, Fanning has for three decades been granted the first airing of any of the band's new singles before anyone else in the world, with band members often calling Fanning to tell him what they are doing. He has presented over twenty different series for RTÉ Television, including Rock Sundown, 2TV, Jobsuss, Visual Eyes, The Arts Show, documentaries on Cambodia and Ethiopia, Number One, a pop quiz which ran for six years, and The Movie Show, a movie review show which ran for ten years, and more recently The Last Broadcast. He also hosted RTÉ's live television coverage of Live 8 in Hyde Park, London (July 2005) and Live Earth in Wembley Stadium, London (July 2007). He claims to have conducted around 200 interviews with global rock stars.

Fanning is the receiver of several awards and nominations, the first of which was a Jacob's Award in 1980. He won numerous IRMA awards and has won Best DJ at the Meteor Music Awards a total of three times, and been nominated at least twice more in 2008 and 2009, this after being granted the Industry Award in 2004.

Hot Press regards Fanning as "one of the most familiar faces and voices in Irish broadcasting". Rob Sharp of UK newspaper The Independent has referred to him as a "legendary Irish DJ". BP Fallon commented in 2008: "Without Dave Fanning on the radio, music in Ireland would have had a poorer face. Dave changed things, opened up ears". The Sunday Tribunes Eithne Tynan has defined his style as a "thousand words a minute, start a whole new sentence before you've finished the previous one". Fanning is parodied by Oliver Callan.


Fanning has written for Hot Press and The Irish Times, presented The Movie Show and been a disc jockey for RTÉ 2fm since it began in 1979. During the 1990s he worked for RTÉ, Virgin Radio and had four television shows at one point, one of which was The Movie Show.


Fanning featured on Ireland's first official national pop music station, RTÉ Radio 2 (now referred to as RTÉ 2fm), which was launched in the summer of 1979. He began presenting each Sunday at midnight, a role he would return to in 2008. His live sessions, conducted with the assistance of producer Ian Wilson, helped establish him on The Rock Show. However, Joe MacNamee has written in the Irish Examiner that Wilson was "the musical heart, soul and brains" of Fanning's success. By the early 1980s, Fanning was seen by the industry and music fans everywhere as Ireland's answer to John Peel, BBC Radio 1 presenter. Alongside Larry Gogan, he is one of only two of the original disc jockeys to make it as far as the station's thirtieth anniversary in 2009.

In 1994 Richard Branson invited Fanning to join his new station Virgin Radio. Fanning presented his own show there every week for two years.

Hot Press summed up Fanning's career in their yearbook. "When Billboard magazine referred to the introduction of RTÉ 2fm as one of the major factors behind the growth of Ireland as a major music centre, they really meant Dave Fanning". Fanning has been described as "the ultimate fan, who through broadcasting has been able to make a career out of his many passions in life - chiefly, music and movies. He currently presents a music-only programme every Sunday night on RTÉ 2fm and he fronts a magazine-style programme on RTÉ Radio 1 from Monday to Friday at 19:00. It is called The Dave Fanning Show.

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