This much I know: Larry Gogan

I always wanted to be a DJ and I became what I wanted to be. I believe in fate. If something is meant to happen, it will.

This much I know: Larry Gogan

I’ve never done anything else, except working for six months in CIE.

I wanted to work in radio ever since I listened to Radio Luxembourg when I was growing up. It was the only real pop station you could get back then.

I was a professional actor when I was 14 and considered a career in acting for a while. I was in Cork and Dublin in a play called Life with Father. My uncle was a manager in Queens Theatre Dublin, which is how I heard about the auditions. I was in another play when I was 16 but then I was made to go back to school.

A girl came into my father’s newsagents shop in Fairview and I found out she was Maura Fox and that she worked in advertising, producing radio programmes, which were all sponsored back then. She gave me an audition and introduced me to the fellows who ran the Eamon Andrews studios, and I went on from there.

Gay Byrne was on the air before me but there were very few other DJs. Jimmy Greeley tells the story of asking RTÉ if they were looking for DJ’s and being told ‘no thanks, we have one already’.

I played the first record ever on 2fm in 1979. I wanted it to be an Irish one so I chose Like Clockwork by The Boomtown Rats.

As a DJ you sometimes have to play songs that you dislike, especially when you are doing the chart shows. My most hated was Renee and Renato’s Save Your Love, I had to play it for ages as it was Number One for weeks.

U2 are my favourite band and The Joshua Tree is my favourite album.

The weirdest interview I ever did was with a showband singer. Instead of answering my questions properly, he just kept winking at me.

I operate my own desk. In the old days an engineer opened the channel, another put on the record and there was a secretary and a producer. Now, it’s just me — and a broadcasting assistant to manage the phones for the Just a Minute quiz.

When we first started that quiz, it was taken off air after six months but there were ructions. People loved it and how it was done county by county, so we brought it back. I do feel sorry for people when they can’t answer a question; it can be very difficult when you are put on the spot but some of the answers still make me laugh: Where’s the Taj Mahal? Opposite the Dental Hospital. Where’s the Great Wall? Crumlin. What star do travellers follow? Joe Dolan.

I met my wife Florrie when she was 15. Our parents both owned newsagents and her dad was president of the newsagent’s association of Ireland. I had to go into their shop in Parnell Street to ask him something and there she was. It was love at first sight. For me, not her!

I had a heart bypass 12 years ago. Florrie was in one hospital and I was in another. She had breast cancer. My biggest challenge was going on after Florrie died. We were married at 21, for 39 years. She was only 60 and we’d just reared our five kids and had plans to spend time travelling and enjoying life together.

I do have faith and that did no doubt help me get through it. We’d never been apart. But I love my life and my job, still doing what I want to after more than 50 years.

If I could be someone else for a day, I’d be Elvis. I am disciplined. I’m my own producer. I’m always on time and always have my stuff prepared — you can’t ad lib in my job — it annoys me people say oh, it’s only pop music.

I believe in an after life. I certainly believe that I will see Florrie again.

The Larry Gogan Show, 12 noon, Saturdays and Sundays 2fm

I had a heart bypass 12 years ago. Florrie was in one hospital and I was in another. She had breast cancer. My biggest challenge was going on after Florrie died. We were married at 21, for 39 years. She was only 60 and we’d just reared our five kids and had plans to spend time travelling and enjoying life together

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