- 22 Feb 23
Dave Fanning famously championed U2 more than 45 years ago before they hit the big time.
RTÉ radio host Dave Fanning has announced that he will step away from his weekend show on RTÉ 2FM, but will continue to broadcast with other projects.
The influential presenter has hosted the Dave Fanning Show on the station since May 1979. He's now set to record a podcast and present a show on RTÉ Gold - plus he'll continue his Fanning at Whelan's TV show.
Dave will also present U2 special on St Patrick's Day, following his long-term connection with the Irish rockers since their inception. The March 17th special will celebrate the launch of the band’s new 40-year retrospective album, Songs of Surrender. The music host also said it will be “pretty massive” for U2 to open up a new €2 billion venue in Las Vegas in 2023.
The updated version of 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)' received its first world play by Dave Fanning on RTÉ 2fm last month with Fanning, a close confidante of the group.
"I've been thinkin' 'bout this for the past few years and have decided to step back from my weekend show on 2FM to spread the word of Fanning on the digital empire," Fanning posted on his Instagram, noting that it would be a "busy year ahead".
"I’m gonna split the scene for a while. I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout this for the past few years and have decided to step back from my weekend show on 2FM to spread the word of Fanning on the digital empire.
Head of RTÉ 2FM, Dan Healy, said: "Dave Fanning is and will always be a cultural leader in Ireland. Dave's judgement to move his content to the world of digital audio is smart and also no surprise.
"This is an exciting time for Dave and for RTÉ and his unique voice and personality will continue to engage audiences on new platforms.
"No statement from me would accurately describe the role Dave has had in curating and being at the leading edge of culture in Ireland, never mind what he achieved for 2FM," Healy posited. "I am thrilled that Dave will continue to be an important part of RTÉ."
In the late '70s, Dave Fanning became important in communicating U2 to the rapidly growing rock market with his fledgling Radio 2.
As Jackie Hayden recalls, "We asked Dave if he would play all three tracks of the proposed U2 single and ask his listeners to choose what should be the A-side. Separately Paul McGuinness and myself spoke to Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press. We were asking for him to put U2 on the cover with an interview inside. This was unheard of. A band with no recording history had never featured on a Hot Press cover. With characteristic immodesty I argued that since some people were prepared to lay their necks on the line for U2, those people deserved Hot Press support. As it was, critical support for U2 among the writers of Hot Press was already well-established at this point. Niall Stokes checked with Bill Graham and spoke to others, before phoning back to confirm: we had lift off."
Soon after the success of the single 'Out Of Control', U2 signed to Island Records.