herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

'He took me under his wing' - Ryan Tubridy pays emotional tribute to Tony Fenton

Ryan Tubridy has said that he will always be thankful to Tony Fenton for taking him under his wing when he started out at RTE.

Speaking this morning Ryan said he was upset at hearing of Tony’s passing adding that, “if you believe in heaven, the good news is that heaven just got itself a DJ”.

“I started in RTE some years ago, when I was about 23 or 24 and I was running around making tea and coffee for whoever would take it from me,” he said.

READ MORE: 'We use the word legend an awful lot, but Tony was the real deal' - tributes pour in for Tony Fenton

“Then one of the guys turned around and said: ‘You seem like a nice fellow, you can come and help me out and work with me a little bit’ and that was Tony.

“Tony was just kind, he was one of life’s kind people and he was decent and honourable and fun.

“He was just one of those people who was universally liked,” he added.

READ MORE: Tony's last interview: 'I came home after the last exam and told my mother that I wanted to work in radio'

The pair went for lunch a few weeks ago and Ryan said he knew that it could be his last chance to say thank you to the radio icon who helped him out at the start of his career.

“Tony got sick and he came on the Late Late Show a while ago to talk about it and he seemed in good form and in relatively good health,” he continued.

READ MORE: 'He'll always be one of the greats,' says pal Dave Fanning

“But then I started hearing on the grapevine that he wasn’t doing well and I got a notion to text him and we met up.

“We went for lunch about three or four weeks ago and it was Tony, but not as I knew him.

“He was talking in a slow manner and he seemed a little unwell and yet for all of that unwellness he had an irrepressible spirit and he kept going.

“I said to him: ‘I want to say thank you for being so kind to me when I started off because you didn’t have to be and I just wanted to say it you now’.

“And a part of me was saying it because I knew it might be the last chance I’d have to say it and as it turns out it was,” he added.

hnews@herald.ie

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