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The Gospel According To John
One of RTE’s best-loved broadcasters, John Creedon has been 25 years on the air with RTÉ. In a fascinating interview, he tells his remarkable story to Colm O’Hare
Colm O Hare, 12 Sep 2012
John Creedon celebrates 25 years with RTÉ this year. One of the best-known voices and faces on the national airwaves, he’s a broadcasting “everyman” in that he has appeared on both radio and television in virtually every type and genre of programme: from music, comedy and documentary to cookery, health and reality shows. Over the years, he has presented music-based radio programmes at every time slot of the day, from early morning to late at night.
With his own comedic creation, Terence – the camp Cork hairdresser – he was a frequent and popular contributor to The Gerry Ryan Show in the early ‘90s while he won a Jacob’s Award in 1992 for his RTÉ Radio 1 morning show, Risin’ Time.
His “core” job these days is radio presenter. He presents an evening weekday show from the RTÉ Cork studios, where he plays his own choice of music, mainly American singer-songwriters – favourites being Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and John Prine – along with folk, jazz, soul, world music and whatever takes his fancy.
In recent years, he enjoyed an increasing amount of time on national TV, variously as judge on Ireland’s Got Talent; winner of the reality show Fáilte Towers; learning a musical instrument alongside Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons and footballer Andy Reid in the TG4 series Faoi Lan Cheoil and most recently presenting Creedon’s Cities, where he took to the streets of Ireland’s major urban centres meeting ordinary people and unearthing curiosities and mysteries in his own trademark style.
Born in Cork, where he grew up in a large family, he still lives in the heart of the city with his wife and four grown-up daughters. A proud Leesider he drinks Beamish stout and supports Cork City FC, rarely missing a match. Affable and genial, Creedon greets Hot Press in the lounge of a Dublin 4 hotel, where he is staying while presenting a music/sports show from the Radio Centre in Montrose during the final week of the London Olympics. Fond of expressions like “cool as a breeze” and “game ball,” Creedon can literally talk for Ireland. Ask him a question and he’ll go off on a circular tangent, telling stories, relating anecdotes, even delving into various strands of philosophy – and at one point stopping to give the friendly waiter a quick lesson in the Irish language. “Sorry, what was that question again?” he asks more than once during our encounter!