Gerry Ryan


Gerry Ryan : biography

4 June 1956 – 30 April 2010


Early career

Early in his career, Ryan was involved part-time in pirate radio – presenting a selection of programmes firstly for Alternative Radio Dublin (ARD) and then for Big D. When Radio 2 (now RTÉ 2fm) was launched in 1979, Ryan joined RTÉ as a DJ where he presented a selection of speech- and music-based programmes, including Here Comes the Weekend on Friday nights and Saturday Scene on Saturday mornings, which earned him £78 per week. Ryan then moved to a night-time music show called ‘Lights out’ which accompanied Mark Cagney’s grown-up album programme and Dave Fanning’s The Rock Show as part of Radio 2’s night-time line-up. The trio brought their shows on tour around Ireland. Ryan said they dressed as if they were in a band and behaved as such as well, booking into "awful hotels", drinking heavily and staying out late in "dodgy nightclubs". Their excessive talking has led to Ryan dubbing them "the three big-mouths on at night-time". They were good friends; Fanning was "a kind of hyperactive, Southside rock guru" and Cagney was "this obsessive, meticulous Corkman who would annotate every single millisecond of what he played on-air".Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p. 37 The trio also started to put on live shows, some of which Ryan described as being attended by crowds of 20,000.

"Lambo" incident

In 1987, Ryan and a group of volunteers spent time in the countryside of Connemara as part of The Gay Byrne Show.Taylor, Richie (11 March 2008). , Irish Independent. Retrieved 27 April 2009. Ryan claimed to have killed and eaten a lamb to survive, earning him the nickname "Lambo", though the story turned out to be a hoax., Irish Examiner, 8 March 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2009. The incident has been adapted for the stage.Knox, Kirsty Blake. . 4 January 2013.

The Gerry Ryan Show

Ryan’s style was considered by some to be that of a motor-mouth shock jock. originally published in the Sunday Mirror The Gerry Ryan Show was subject to several upheld complaints to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), although once escaped punishment when he said "Would it be considered blasphemous if someone said on air that ‘God is a bollocks?’". Ryan was noted for the enjoyment he took in discussing topics such as sex, bodily functions, and food – as well as current social and political issues. PR guru Max Clifford observed he could have, like Graham Norton and Terry Wogan, had a successful broadcasting career in the UK and said he was similar to "Michael Parkinson at his best".

The Gerry Ryan Show, began in March 1988 when he was offered a three-hour morning radio slot. The G. Ryan Show, running from 09:00–12:00 on weekday mornings, consisted of interviews and phone-ins via the "Ryan Line". Each morning he would begin by discussing the headlines of that morning’s newspapers. Following the news update at 10:00, Ryan would introduce that morning’s Nob Nation, a satirical slot which featured impersonations of politicians and RTÉ media personnel comparable to rival station Today FM’s Gift Grub. Ryan presented RTÉ 2fm’s only show which was regularly among the top twenty Irish radio shows in Ireland, a show which commanded around €4–5 million for RTÉ per annum, mainly through advertising (one thirty-second advertisement during the show cost €900). This meant RTÉ would have earned €27,000 through advertising from Ryan per day.

The defining moment of the show came in 1993, when a rape victim, Lavinia Kerwick, rang GRS to air her feelings. For the first time it occurred to Ryan that the story was more important than the question. Since then The Ryan Show became something of a national institution as the oldest show still running on 2fm. Despite repeated reshuffles which have seen all other presenters shifted around, RTÉ have never moved The Ryan Show from its traditional slot.