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It's Way Past My Bedtime
With the launch of his new RTÉ 2fm morning show, the world has changed for Hector Ó hEochagáin. No more late nights! Tucked up in bed with the kids by 9.30! Drinking Horlicks to beat the band (alright, we made that last bit up). But his bizarre new regime doesn’t seem to phase the Navan-born broadcaster and comedian, who is taking everything in his stride. He is also preparing for his upcoming appearance at the Bulmers Galway Comedy Festival.
Olaf Tyaransen, 02 Nov 2010
Hector Ó hEochagáin is in fine fettle... which should come as no surprise to anybody. As viewers of his massively popular TV shows, or listeners to his recently ended high-octane Saturday morning RTE 2fm show with childhood friend Tommy Tiernan, will attest, the inimitably wired Navan-born media personality is always in good form. Indeed, his inner amp seems permanently set to ‘11’.
It’s shortly after midday in the Galway RTÉ studios, and the 41-year-old has just finished a successful dry-run of his brand new 2fm breakfast show, which has since gone live. The most famous Irish media redhead since Bosco tells me he can’t wait: “This is a really big deal,” he enthuses, waving a hand expansively around the room. “They’re fixing up the studios – knocking walls, making new offices, painting the walls, the whole deal. It’s the first time a morning show has ever been presented from Galway, so they’re really pulling all the stops out.”
He’s brazen, too. As we leave the RTÉ building en route to the nearby House Hotel, Hector walks over to a parked navy Ford Mondeo and taps on the roof to get the attention of the two men sitting inside. “Jaysus, lads,” he says, when one of them rolls down the window, “you’d want to be a bit more fuckin’ discreet than that.”
It’s the Galway Drug Squad keeping an eye on the dole office. Despite having their cover blown, they seem delighted to see him. “Ah sure, it’s yerself! How’s it goin’ Hector?!”
Actually, it seems everybody’s delighted to see him. When we walk into the hotel, a tray of Guinness appears, as if by magic, “with the compliments of the management.” Three different people come over to say "hello" during the photo-shoot, greeting him in a familiar manner (he only knows one of them). Unlike many other media personalities, what you see of Hector on your TV or hear on your radio, is what you get. Exuding magnetism, he’s one of the most likeable and least pretentious people I’ve met.