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2FM Comes Of Age

2FM is 21! JACKIE HAYDEN and CHRIS DONOVAN provide an overview to the nation's longest running and most influential music station.

Jackie Hayden, 08 Jun 2000

1979 was the year of Oliver's Army by Elvis Costello, U2's first ever recorded release, 'A Message To You Rudy' by The Specials, 'Cool For Cats' by Squeeze and Roxanne by The Police.

All told it was a more innocent time. Political sleaze, racism and abusive priests may have been subjects festering under Ireland's skin but they were not yet spoken of in polite company. Bros had not been invented. Nobody had yet assembled a Five Star or Take That. Jason and Kylie were but gleams in the eyes of their respective record companies. Riverdance and Richie Kavanagh were in the future, Dana was safely in the USA and Ding Dong Denny was an ad for sausages.

And that was the year 2FM was born, first named Radio 2 and marketed under the slightly threatening slogan Cominatcha. Twenty-one years later, they're still comin' at us. So as part of their birthday celebrations, Hot Press offers this 21-gun salute, 21 reasons for turning on and tuning in to the bigger, better, louder, brasher, faster, noisier, rockier, dancier, longer-lasting, fresher, fruitier, tastier 2FM.

1. 2FM - THE BIG PICTURE with John Clarke

Last year John Clarke, after many years as a DJ and producer with 2FM, took over as effective head of the station. He celebrates 2FM s 21st birthday with this overview.

John Clarke:

Across the last two decades 2FM has established itself as the premier music station for Ireland. The personality driven station, with a wide variety of music styles, has now over 50% of the 15-25 age group opting for it as their number one choice every day.

Research confirms tremendous loyalty to 2FM, and the continued belief by listeners that 2FM is a substantially different type of radio station than its commercial rivals. 2FM will always support good new music, both Irish and international, and our library of interviews and recorded concerts in tandem with the Fanning show is an invaluable treasury of material.

Reflecting the daily mood of the country is something Gerry Ryan does with ease. The mix can move from pure entertainment to tapping into the concerns of the nation. Critics say his talent and professionalism make him the voice for today's generation. Others claim he fills a voyeuristic need, but love him or hate him, his uniqueness makes him the most listened to MALE broadcaster fronting his own show.

Mention names like Tony Fenton, Damien McCaul, Larry Gogan Gareth O'Callaghan or Dusty Rhodes and you automatically think of 2FM because its identity is firmly linked by simple association to its presenters. 2FM is ever-changing, lauded for its news and sports coverage, always seeking to be interesting and innovative. Finding fresh ways to present a wide array of music, from dance to rock through R&B, Irish, hip-hop, chart hits or album tracks, 2FM stands for quality.


Hot Press asked Liam Thompson to explain 2FM's s music policy and the process used to select the music the station plays.

Liam Thompson:

We take music very seriously at 2FM, whether it's a demo from a new band in Tullamore, or a white label dance tune that we shouldn't have, or the latest single from Eminem. In fact, 2FM aims to play the broadest mix of current music of any radio station in Ireland.

Unlike most radio stations, no computer picks the music on 2FM. We don't schedule all the songs on the station and we don't force our presenters to play the same songs over and over again. Instead we compile a new music playlist and the presenters pick the music for their own shows using those lists.

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