Gerry Ryan: Wikis


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Gerry Ryan
Born Gerard Ryan
4 June 1956 (1956-06-04) (age 53)
Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Education Law Degree at Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation Broadcaster
Employer RT√Č
Salary ‚ā¨558,990 a year (2008)RV
Spouse(s) Morah Brennan (separated 2008)
Children Lottie, Rex, Bonnie, Elliot, Babette
Parents Vinnie and Maureen

Gerard "Gerry" Ryan (born 4 June 1956) is a veteran Irish full-time presenter of radio and part-time presenter of television employed by RT√Č. He has presented The Gerry Ryan Show on radio station RT√Č 2fm each weekday morning since 1988.

Ryan has hosted several series of television shows, including Secrets, Gerry Ryan Tonight, Ryantown, Gerry Ryan's Hitlist and Operation Transformation. He currently presents Ryan Confidential, which recently finished its sixth series on RT√Č One.[1] Ryan is also noted for co-presenting the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest from the Point Theatre, Dublin and presenting an edition of the long-running chat show The Late Late Show in 2008.

Ryan is considered to be a motor-mouth shock jock.[2] The Gerry Ryan Show has been the subject of several upheld complaints to the broadcasting complaints commission[2] [3][4], although once escaped punishment when he wondered if God was a bollocks aloud live on air.[3] Ryan is noted for the enjoyment he takes in discussing topics such as sex, bodily functions and food and once googled images of tapeworm porn.[4]

In March 2008, it was announced that Ryan and his wife Morah, with whom he has five children, were to separate after 26 years of marriage.[5][6] In a joint statement, Gerry and Morah Ryan requested that their privacy and that of their children be respected. The broadcaster revealed that he and his wife had made a pact never to discuss their marital breakdown in public.[7] He described this much publicised separation as "the most painful decision that either of them ever had to make", criticising those who have abandoned him and praising Man Booker Prize winner John Banville who has supported him. Dealing with what he calls "the bachelor world of separation", Ryan has said he "watches the Discovery Channel in his pyjamas while nursing a glass of whiskey in his shiny new apartment".[8]


Early life

Ryan was born in Dublin in 1956. His father Vinnie was a "slightly eccentric" dentist from a Presbyterian background and his mother, Maureen, "a flamboyant woman" who came from a theatrical background and worked in the theatre.[9] He was educated at St Paul's College, Raheny.


Early career

Ryan was previously involved part-time in pirate radio, presenting a selection of programmes firstly for Alternative Radio Dublin (ARD) and then for Big D. When Radio 2 (now RT√Č 2fm) was launched in 1979, Ryan joined RT√Č as a DJ where he presented a selection of speech- and music-based programmes, including Here Comes the Weekend on Friday nights and Saturday Scene on Saturday mornings, which earned him ¬£78 per week. Ryan then moved to a night-time show which accompanied Mark Cagney's grown-up album programme and Dave Fanning's The Rock Show as part of Radio 2's night-time lineup. The trio brought their shows on tour around Ireland. Ryan said they dressed as if they were in a band and behaved as such as well, booking into "awful hotels", drinking heavily and staying out late in "dodgy nightclubs". Their excessive talking has led to Ryan dubbing them "the three big-mouths on at night-time". They were good friends; Fanning was "a kind of hyperactive, Southside rock guru" and Cagney was "this obsessive, meticulous Corkman who would annotate every single millisecond of what he played on-air".[10] The trio also started to put on live shows, some of which Ryan described as being attended by crowds of 20,000.

"Lambo" incident

In 1987 Ryan and a group of volunteers spent time in the countryside of Connemara as part of the The Gay Byrne Show.[11] Ryan claimed to have killed and eaten a lamb to survive, earning him the nickname "Lambo", though the story turned out to be a hoax.[12]

‚ÄúThere can be romance in rubber and sand!‚ÄĚ

Ryan after receiving a call from a listener whose birthday gift from his wife was a tonne of sand. He returned the favour by buying her a pondliner for her birthday. Ryan had been discussing the best options for Christmas presents with Fiona Looney. [13]

The Gerry Ryan Show

Ryan's current show, The Gerry Ryan Show, began in March 1988 [14] when he was offered a three-hour morning radio slot. The G. Ryan Show,[15] running from 09:00 - 12:00 on weekday mornings, consists of interviews and phone-ins via the "Ryan Line".[16][17] He begins by discussing the headlines of that morning's newspapers. Following the news update at 10:00, Ryan introduces that morning's Nob Nation, a satirical slot which features impersonations of politicians and RT√Č media personnel comparable to rival station Today FM's Gift Grub.

Ryan found the time period around the start of GRS exciting - "the whole machine shook... it was like the space-shuttle engines starting up". The defining moment of the show came in 1993. When Levinia Kerwick was raped and her rapist was convicted but given a suspended sentence, she rang GRS to air her feelings.[10] For the first time it occurred to Ryan that the story was more important than the question. Since then The Ryan Show has become something of a national institution as the oldest show still running on 2fm. Despite repeated reshuffles which have seen all other presenters shifted around, RT√Č have never moved The Ryan Show from its traditional slot.[18]

In 1997, Ryan's wife Morah, from whom he is now estranged, phoned her husband's show and, under the name Norah, told half a million listeners that her husband dumps his underpants on the floor before hopping into bed every night, doesn't put his clothes on hangers, had not cleaned the dog's mess from the back yard for weeks and never puts the rubbish out for the dustbin men. When she was done she asked her husband: "You would do that now, wouldn't you Gerry?" The interview was nearing its finish when he realised what was happening after hearing his crew laughing in the Montrose control room. An embarrassed Ryan informed his listeners: "This is my wife talking".[19]

In 2004, Ryan caused uproar when he cancelled an interview with the Taoiseach of the time, Bertie Ahern. Ahern had agreed to appear on The Gerry Ryan Show after the delivery of that year's government budget but moments before he set off for RT√Č's Donnybrook headquarters, the show's producers rang his office and informed aides that they no longer wished to interview him. Associates of the Taoiseach were said to be "fuming" over the affair, saying "you can't just ask for an interview with the most powerful man in the country and then ditch him as if he was some stand-in celebrity." [20] Ahern was replaced by RT√Č's economics reporter George Lee.

After a brief period of decline in his audience, all of the recent JNLR figures have shown a consistent and significant increase in his listenership - with his audience growing by almost 15% in the course of the past year (Irish Times, May 16, 2008.)

Television career

Ryan has hosted several series of television shows during his career.

Secrets was a popular Saturday night show which was not well received by critics.[21] The producer, Kevin Linehan, was removed from the show to work on the Millstreet Eurovision and asked Ryan to co-present the event with Fionnuala Sweeney. They later met and Linehan informed Ryan that RT√Č had objected to his proposal.[22] He did, however, co-present the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest alongside Cynthia N√≠ Mhurch√ļ where he had the honour of introducing Riverdance as the interval act with the immortal words "Ladies and Gentlemen... the Riverdance!" He had watched Michael Flatley and Jean Butler put the act together, choreographing it and rehearsing it "fifty or sixty times" and later wrote of being offered the opportunity to invest a stake of ¬£20,000 in the act. Ryan turned it down, a decision he has since regretted.[10]

The presenter describes Ryantown as "the worst television experience I've ever had in my entire life", with producer Julie Parsons (who had previously worked on The Gay Byrne Hour) nearly having a nervous breakdown, according to Ryan. He described RT√Č as "extremely unhelpful".

"Suggestions would arrive at our production meetings: maybe Gerry should wear a hat. Maybe Gerry should sit down. Maybe Gerry should run around more." [23]

Ryan unsuccessfully pleaded with RT√Č to cancel midway through the series.

Gerry Ryan Tonight was a chat show that aired three nights per week. Ryan describes it as "no less traumatic" as it nearly cost him his close personal friendship with the producer Ferdia McAnna.[23]

Ryan was touted to be the successor to Gay Byrne following his departure from The Late Late Show. Reports that Ryan was to be made producer as well as presenter and given a deal worth £500,000 - higher earnings than Byrne received - [24] proved unfounded when Pat Kenny took over the role in 1999.

Recent forages into the world of television include Gerry Ryan's Hitlist, Ryan Confidential and Operation Transformation. Ryan says the critics are not as vocal anymore although he puts this down to them "mostly... ignoring me".[23] Ryan is also noted for presenting The Late Late Show on 24 October 2008 when regular presenter Pat Kenny became bereaved.[25][26] Unusually for his television career, Ryan received praise for his guest role, even coping well with the traditionally difficult comedian Tommy Tiernan whose appearances on the show with Kenny have led to complaints. The edition of The Late Late Show that he hosted had the largest audience of any that season apart from the annual edition of The Late Late Toy Show.[27]


In the early part of 2008, Ryan announced that he had been contracted by Penguin to write his autobiography. The ‚ā¨100,000 advance paid by Penguin to Ryan was reported to be the largest ever paid for a book published in Ireland.[28] Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up was released to Irish readers on 16 October 2008. In January 2009, it was reported that the book has sold just over 10,000 copies.[29]


Ryan was paid ‚ā¨487,492 by RT√Č in 2004,[30] making him the second highest paid presenter to colleague Pat Kenny. He earned ‚ā¨462,442 in 2003, and ‚ā¨601,882 in 2002.[31] RT√Č offered Ryan a new five year contract worth ‚ā¨600,000 a year in July 2007.[32] Ryan has said that just before this he came very close to signing a deal with Denis O'Brien to present a daytime programme on Newstalk which was about to go national. He was offered several millions more than RT√Č were offering him. Ryan considered the deal, thinking of how one of his best friends Willie O'Reilly was head of sister station Today FM and was heavily involved with the other stations. However negotiations fell apart as Ryan cautioned on how delicate the situation was, with RT√Č looking at his contract and deciding if he was of value to them anymore. O'Brien allegedly disappeared and Ryan was told he was out of coverage. The irony was not lost on him - "pretty incredible for a guy who owns most of the world's mobile telephones". O'Brien did eventually return but Ryan had already signed the RT√Č contract.[23]

In February 2009 Ryan refused to take a 10% pay cut from RT√Č, even as several other employees in RT√Č took such pay cuts, and declared it "bullshit". This put Gerry Ryan at apparent loggerheads with RT√Č and his fans.[33] On 10 March 2009 he gave a lengthy speech on his radio show, at the end of which he declared he would agree to break his existing contract with RT√Č, and take a pay cut.[34][35] He is not technically a member of RTE staff but is paid through a separate company, enabling Ryan and RT√Č to avoid paying tax on his salary.[36]

Personal life

Ryan is separated from his wife Morah since 2008. The couple have five children aged 9 ‚Äď 23, Lottie, Rex, Bonnie, Elliot and Babette. He previously had a female German Shepherd who was "like a second mother to my children"[37] and has spoken on numerous occasions of the pet budgie he had as a child which had an unusually shaped head. His daughter Lottie is also considered a second mother.[38] He underwent a vasectomy due to his belief that a woman should not have to undergo a major operation if the man in a relationship can do something "safer and straightforward". In Ryan's case it went badly wrong as he woke up groggy and in severe pain with a wound that became infected.[39]

He approached his future wife Morah (nee Brennan) at a party and lured her into his back garden on the premise that there would be newborn baby kittens there. There were no kittens but Ryan used this opportunity to kiss her for the first time. When he worked for the pirate radio station Big D, Morah helped him with his programme. She helped her future husband put the music together and carry the equipment. He paid her £3 out of the £15 he earned.[40]

When they first married the Ryans had very little money. Their first home was a rented flat behind the Meath Hospital. Ryan obtained a mortgage by lying about his salary and bought a little house in Marino. The couple had some difficulty making their payments and they were constantly receiving reminders and even notices of foreclosure. When the critics lambasted Ryan for his work, Morah Ryan cut parts out of the Sunday newspapers before her husband read them. The Sunday Independent was thrown in the bin on a regular basis.[40]

See also


  1. ^ Ryan Confidential online
  2. ^ "Gerry Ryan: Shock jock and now also extremely selfish and greedy who wakes up Ireland to the facts of his life". BNET. 1998-11-15. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  originally published in the Sunday Mirror
  3. ^ "Watchdog throws out Ryan radio complaint". Irish Independent. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  4. ^ "By George, he still hasn't got it". The Irish Times. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Ryans go their separate (sic) ways". Irish Independent. 2008-03-08. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Gerry & Morah Ryan end 26-year marriage". RT√Č. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  7. ^ "'Rumour dogs most celebrity marriages. The Ryans always defied gossip mongers'". Irish Independent. 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  8. ^ "Gerry Ryan: separation was the most painful thing I've ever done". Sunday Tribune. 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  9. ^ "How Gerry Ryan turned into Mr Smug". Irish Independent. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  10. ^ a b c Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p.37
  11. ^ Gerry keeps face after break-up, Richie Taylor, Irish Independent, 11 March 2008, retrieved 27 April 2009
  12. ^ Gerry and Morah to split after 26 years, Irish Examiner, 8 March 2008, retrieved 27 April 2009
  13. ^ GRS. 6 November 2008.
  14. ^ About the Show
  15. ^ "Gerry RYAN a perfect 10". Hot Press. 1998-05-13. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  16. ^ The Ryan Line is open Mon-Fri 9am-12
  17. ^ "Why can't we cope with a little snow?". Evening Herald. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  18. ^ "Saving Gerry Ryan". Irish Independent. 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  19. ^ "Real shocker for shock jock Gerry!". BNET. 1997-12-14. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  originally published in the Sunday Mirror
  20. ^ "DJ GERRY'S BERTIE SNUB". BNET. 2004-12-05. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  originally published in the Sunday Mirror
  21. ^ "RTE DJ duo hit 'Home Run' as they head for the small screen". Evening Herald. 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  22. ^ Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, pp.35-36
  23. ^ a b c d Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p.36
  24. ^ "GAYBO'S GOING, GOING, GONE!". BNET. 1997-06-29. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  originally published in the Sunday Mirror
  25. ^ "Gerry's love of chaos may be a ratings winner for the Late Late Show stand-in". Evening Herald. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  26. ^ "Ryan takes on 'Late, Late' as Kenny mourns mother". Irish Independent. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  27. ^ "Versatile Gerry Ryan doesn't make a Late Late Show of himself". Evening Herald. 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  28. ^ "EUR100,000 for life of Ryan". BNET. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  originally published in the Sunday Mirror
  29. ^ Book buyers find Ryan a big turn-off
  30. ^ [1]2004 Top 10 paid, 2004 "RT√Č - Top 10 most highly paid on-air broadcasters for 2004"
  31. ^ "Ryan's private savings". Sunday Business Post. 2004-05-09. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  2002 and 2003 salaries
  32. ^ "Ryan lines up ‚ā¨3m pay day". Irish Independent. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  33. ^ Coyle, Colin (2009-03-07). "Ryan Tubridy joins pay-cut volunteers". The Sunday Times. London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  34. ^ "Gerry Ryan to take a pay cut". RT√Č. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  35. ^ "Larry Mullen lays Bono bare as Gogan produces pure radio gold". Evening Herald. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ GRS. RT√Č 2fm. 6 November 2008.
  38. ^ "Ryan's heartache over daughter's NY move". RT√Č. 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  39. ^ Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p.33
  40. ^ a b Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p.34

External links

Commentary on Gerry Ryan:

The Irish Times, 16 May 2008 - impressive growth in Ryan's audience.

Media offices
Preceded by
Fionnuala Sweeney
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
(with Cynthia N√≠ Mhurch√ļ)
Succeeded by
Mary Kennedy

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