- 22 Mar 23
Stepping down from the radio station Beat 102-103's show Irishbeats, Rob O'Connor passes the mantle of host to Wexford musician Ava Somers.
Rob O'Connor, the longtime host for regional radio station Beat 102-103 is taking a step back from presenting the iconic flagship music show Irishbeats. Now, Wexford artist Ava Somers is taking the helm.
Finishing her Master's in Media Law at University College Cork (UCC), Ava has practical experience hosting her own radio show on the student station UCC 98.3FM over the past several years.
Hand in hand with her talents as a performing musician from the age of three, Ava is uniquely qualified for the position. Talented in piano, guitar and bass in addition to vocals, the Irish Youth Music Awards in 2020 deemed her a "recalled artist."
She's even well-known in South East and Cork music circles as the alt-pop Glass Pants.
Listening to Irishbeats since she was a teenager, Ava fondly recalls how the show has played an integral role in her life.
“I had to go to bed early for school, but I wanted to stay up to listen to Na Cairteacha Oifiguil na hEireann, so when I turned on the radio, Rob was always on air. Through that I fell in love with new Irish artists such as Ham Sandwich, Dermot Kennedy and Little Green Cars – I was hooked.”
Rob O'Connor called the show's new host on air last week . In the surprise telephone call, Ava said that she was “delighted to carry on the amazing legacy that Rob has built over the years.”
We have a new presenter! @AvaSomersMusic is our new Irish music guru and host of Irishbeats. Well done to all five finalists who were brilliant. Last one from @roboconnor_irl next week 😢 pic.twitter.com/3qL9VxaSql
— Niall Power (@mrniallpower) March 19, 2023
The IMRO award-winning show's host for the show for fifteen years, Rob decided to step down last month, passing on the torch with faith in his successor.
“The breadth and depth of the quality of Irish music being created is astounding. That level of talent deserves more than the commitment I can make right now. It's been a privilege to have been part of Beat's journey over the years, but it's time for someone else to bring Irish Beats to the next level.”
Ava's certainly ready to take on the challenge. Armed with a game-plan to not only stay true to the spirit of the beloved show she grew up with, she hopes to reintroduce Irishbeats to the same new generation of Irish DJs, singers, and bands.
“My hope is to bring a fresh voice to a much-loved show”, Ava assured. “I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground, bringing the best new Irish music as it emerges and showing off the talent that this little island churns out year after year.”
You can tune into Ava's first Irish Beats show on air on April 2nd, at 8PM.
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