- 05 Feb 03
The former editor of the Sunday Tribune on the tough task of replacing Eamon Dunphy in the hottest seat in radio, The Last Word. plus: the Dunph, hook, O’Reilly, war, politics, sport, media, sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and, of course, that much-missed coiffure. Joe Jackson has the first word.
Matt Cooper has a hell of a tough act to follow as he takes over from Eamon Dunphy as presenter of The Last Word. Of course, credit for the success of the programme under Dunphy can also be attributed to the production team and countless contributors but there is definitely a perception – sometimes fostered by the less than humble “Eamo” himself – that he was solely responsible for turning The Last Word into the single most popular show on Today FM. Proving that perception wrong, to listeners and advertisers alike, is the greatest challenge that lays ahead for Cooper. It’s also a job he’s being paid a reported E200,000 a year to do.
But then Matt Cooper has taken on many a challenge since he graduated from UCC with a commerce degree, and DCU, where he studied journalism. He started out working for The Sunday Business Post back in its hey-day circa 1989, soon became business editor of The Irish Independent and then took on the onerous task of editing and reviving a flagging Sunday Tribune. Then, after stints as a stand-in presenter, came that high profile move into The Last Word hotseat.
Matt Cooper is 36, was born in Cork and is married to barrister Aileen Hickie. They have three girls aged two months, two years and four. In recent times, he has gotten rid of that poodle, sorry, Robert Plant-style mop of hair that threatened to undermine his journalistic credibility for so many years.