- 31 Mar 03
One of the most familiar faces and voices in Irish broadcasting, Dave Fanning has interviewed just about every rock and movie star worth knowing. But here Olaf Tyaransen goes behind the public image to unearth some of his more secret history: working with the disgraced “Captain” Cooke; nude interviewing with U2; getting ripped off by the nanny; and much more.
As you’ll soon read, midway through my interview with Dave Fanning the RTE star briefly got annoyed with me, thinking that I was being a smartarse and criticising his interviewing technique. As it happens, I genuinely wasn’t – to me and most Irish people of my generation, Fanning is as seminal and respected a musical figure as John Peel – but his uncharacteristic testiness was forgivable anyway. Although still pasted in make-up from a prior TV interview on Open House to promote his new movie review show (the bizarrely titled What?!Movie), the 48-year-old broadcaster looked completely wrecked.
With a new television series starting and his acclaimed radio programme moving to a much higher profile drivetime slot, these are busy days indeed for David Fanning – not to mention sleepless nights. Six days earlier his wife Ursula had given birth to a baby daughter (“We haven’t fully decided on a name yet, but it’s looking like Ruby at the moment”), a new sister for his two sons, aged seven and nine. He told me he hadn’t slept properly in over a week.
However, his infant daughter isn’t the only new Fanning baby requiring constant attention and stressing him out. His own production company Rumble Films is making the new movie show and, in true Hollywood fashion, his mobile must have rung literally 20 times in the two hours I spent with him (he apologised for not turning it off, but an important call from Pierce Brosnan’s people was due and he couldn’t afford to miss it).