This much I know: Rick O’Shea

If compartmentalising your life was an Olympic sport, then I’d be a gold medal winner.

Outside of work, my time is my time. I disconnect from technology when I’m not using it for work — it’s easy to stay stressed if you are always checking your phone and on Twitter. It allows me to stay zen.

I was quite an introverted child, I read a lot and didn’t have that many friends outside of school as my school was a bus ride away from my home.

I wanted to be an accountant but didn’t get the points.

When I was fifteen I entered a competition and won a prize to be a DJ for a day with one of the Dublin pirates. Someone asked if I’d ever considered doing it for a living, but it was never my burning passion.

I still don’t think radio is my passion. I know real anoraks and radio freaks — people who had pirate radio stations in their bedrooms — and I was never that guy. I see radio as a medium for communication.

In the last ten years I have become quite unstressed. I don’t really get angry about stuff any more.

I was much more hyper when I was in my 20s. I was less sure about myself, especially about who I was on air. But in the last five years I’ve had the same slot which has allowed me to build an audience.

After 22 years in the business my advice to anyone starting out is if they want to conquer nerves, the only thing is to practice — being on the radio five days a week will do the trick.

I’m organised workwise but outside of that I’m quite scatterbrained. I’m the sort of person who needs to set notes in diaries and alarms on phones.

I like spending my time with my wife and three children. I’m divorced and re-married. I enjoy going to theatre, I like nice food, craft beers, watching football and travelling — although I don’t do that often enough, and, I read a lot.

I set myself the task of reading a hundred books this year, that’s two a week, so I’m on number 50. I like being able to read broadly and divide my books into three categories — fiction, sci fi and non-fiction. I don’t turn the television on at night. If I go on Facebook it’s like going down the rabbit hole.

My idea of hell is being in a loud crowded night club, not being able to hear what other people are saying. I was never really into dancing until 3am, even when I was younger.

I’m quite a science-based person and was never religious. I was always agnostic and then I read Richard Dawkin’s God Delusion. Any last vestige of belief in the supernatural disappeared. Now, I’m a card carrying atheist.

I have never been as happy as I am now with my work, home and personal life.

I don’t believe in fate.

The traits I most admire in others are honesty, loyalty and openness.

If I could be reborn as someone else for a day I’d chose to be one of the Apollo astronauts — not Apollo 13 obviously — but one of those who set foot on the moon.

Given the choice, I’d opt for being a second rate poet over a first rate historian.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt so far is that when you find yourself seeing red and getting really angry, take a step back, walk away and take a deep breath. If you think of things again in the cold hard light of day you will make a better decision in the long run.

* Rick presents Rick O’Shea in the Afternoon every weekday from 2pm to 4.30pm on RTÉ 2fm. He is also an epilepsy awareness advocate and has been a national patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006. Rick also does social media in a big way. You can tweet him @rickoshea.


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