Pat Dunne, now producer of the Gay Byrne Show on Radio 1, was one of the early producers on The Gerry Ryan Show.
"We had a completely open brief, so anything went. One time we put two studios on air simultaneously, with fellow-producer Willie O'Reilly and me in one studeio playing sound effects as we tried to give a traditional Egyptian buriel to a dead beetle sent in by a listener.
"We invented a character called Doctor Caligari, an alter ego Gerry tapped into, who seemed to grow out of some shared interest in the macabre. He was a mad doctor type. A cross between a Middle-European defrocked medical practitioner and an Asian quack. He analysed bodies recovered from the Antarctic perma-frost and ghoulish things like that.
"It was a great time for me. It was like somebody had given me a the national airwaves to play with. But I don't think we'd get away with some of the more ludicrous things today.
"On St. Patrick's Day 1989 I brought in a pile of obscure Irish-American records.We started the morning by eating boxty. It inspired Gerry to pretend to be this fellow who was worse than anything out of Finian's Rainbow, with a mock Irish-American accent. The public joined in the joke, phoning in stories, and one woman I remember well who told us she was having serious problems with her jelly. Apparently she was trying to make jelly to look like the tricolour but the colours wouldn't stay separate!"
Producer Joan Torsney now admits that some antics have not gone down too well with the RTE bigwigs. "We did probably our first ever outside broadcast from Newbridge or somewhere on a miserlable day and nobody turned up. But Gerry went on and talked about the great reception he had received, bands marching, huge crowds, bands and so on. We decided to stir it up even more by running a competition for pairs of knickers from the nearby Penneys. So eventually we got the crowds out, but later the DF complained at the very idea of giving away knickers as prizes on the radio. How times have changed!"
Tornsey also remembers a more serious problem arising duting the divorce referendum. "Conscious of having to be fair to both sides of the debate, we nevertheless found it extremely difficult to find people prepared to go on air and speak in favour of divorce."
Siobhann Hough remembers the feats in the upper echelons of RTE some years ago at the very idea of putting a "loose cannon" like Gerry Ryan on at prime time. "Don't forget," she says, "They wouldn't even let him do a short review piece on his night-time show after the facous "Lambo" escapade. Someone said it was like putting Genghis Khan on daytime radio."
They formed a bond when they were part of the 2fm night team together back in the early days of the station. Since then they remained best friends, enjoying the ups and down of life in Ireland’s second station and revelling in the good times. Here Dave Fanning pays tribute to his closest friend, GERRY RYAN.Read More
2fm’s own tribute to GERRY RYAN, just over 24 hours after he died, was conducted by Evelyn O’Rourke, who was among those who had worked closely with Gerry on his show over the years. Among the guests were Bono and Edge of U2. Gerry had been a good friend of the band, and so what they had to say – edited here for print – was both personal and eloquent, saluting the man Bono called Ireland’s weather vane.Read More
I Coulda Bin a SolicitorRead More
The President Mary McAleese led the mourners.Read More
One of Ireland’s greatest broadcasters, in many ways Gerry Ryan was still a boy at heart, with an extraordinary love for the great adventure of life.Read More
The RTÉ broadcaster has died.Read More
Acts of all musical persuasions are being asked to submit MP3s.Read More
Gerry Ryan has signed a new five-year contract with RTE, his management announced.Read More
Ryan Show insiders reveal what goes into making a long-running, successful and exciting radio experienceRead More
In the best possible sense, of course! For fifteen years, Gerry Ryan has been a mainstay of Irish radio. Though his few forays intoTV thus far have been ill-fated, his latest small-screen venture, Ryan Confidential looks set to reverse the trend. Here, Ryan discusses the ups and downs of his career to dateRead More
It's impossible to broadcast a live, logical show without running the risk of either mixing with the "wrong" sort of people, or ending up in the courts. Paul Russell remembers a few delicate legal moments...Read More
Producer Joan Torsney recalls magic milestones which have helped The Gerry Ryan Show become a national institution.Read More
Producer Paul Russell takes us through the Gerry Ryan Show's "very definitely not wanted" list.Read More
Although it may be a hard fact for regular listeners to appreciate, in many ways Gerry Ryan can privately be a very shy, almost retiring individual who sometimes finds that the easiest way of dealing with a problem is to hide from it.Read More
As Paul Russell recalls, there have been numerous instances when matters did not turn out quite according to plan...Read More
RTE presenter Joe Duffy was recently alleged to have decried Gerry Ryan’s style, although Joe has since denied making such commentsRead More
Executive producer Willie O’Reilly rummages through his memory banks to unearth six extraordinary moments.Read More
To mark the 10th anniversary of the launch of the G. Ryan Show on 2FM, JACKIE HAYDEN talks to the mainman himself while various team members and seasoned observers select the best, worst and weirdest moments of the show that's grabbed the nation by its ears.Read More
Shorn of his beard and pony-tail GERRY RYAN is to join forces with Barney the dinosaur, Twink and OTT in a poptastic pantomime in The Point, SLEEPING BEAUTY (SORT OF). Interview: CHRIS DONOVAN.Read More
Brenda as Roadie. Nappy People. Three Old Men In A Pub. Lawnmower Conversations. Prayer On Trial…Read More