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Friday 9 December 2016

'I have never felt like I had anything to prove' - Lottie Ryan

AIRWAVES: Lottie Ryan tells Joanna Kiernan about her life, her hectic work schedule and her greatest inspiration - her radio legend father Gerry

Lottie Ryan
Lottie Ryan
Lottie and Bonnie Ryan with dad Gerry

Lottie Ryan is a busy lady. Alongside her weekend presenting gig on 2fm's The Early Early Breakfast show, the 28-year-old also spends many of her week days working across a number of the station's shows as an entertainment news reporter.

It's a career that the eldest daughter of one of Ireland's most beloved broadcasters, the late Gerry Ryan, has worked hard for, despite the charges of some begrudgers when she first appeared on the airwaves.

"I never felt like I had to prove anything to myself," Lottie says. "Maybe other people were looking for an element of that, but I think everything has happened so organically for me that I feel like it all had a very natural progression.

"I was in college for five years and was an intern for a long time. I started out small and by the time The Early Early Breakfast show was put in front of me I had been in the business for five years."

inspiration

Lottie believes that her father, who passed away in April 2010, would be very proud of her career and how hard she has worked. She takes huge inspiration from her dad and will often listen back to his radio shows.

"It's a great gift to have," she says. "It is like having an incredible amount of home recordings. I always enjoy listening back to his shows. I never had a problem with him talking about me.

"I never really knew any better. He had this huge and very close relationship with his listeners which he was able to garner by opening up like that, so it was a great thing for him to be able to do."

Initially, Lottie's career looked set for the small screen after a number of TV gigs, including a showbiz slot on RTE's The Daily Show. However, Lottie's personality and wit also made her a hit on radio.

"I think it's fair to say that a lot of people dip their toes in the different areas," Lottie says.

"When I was first out of college I went into television because that was the opportunity that was there for me and I loved it. It's not that I decided on one over the other, it's just this is the way life has gone."

But Lottie discovered her passion for radio through her first opportunity with 2FM, as a contributor on the Colm Hayes Show three years ago.

"I fell in love with radio really quickly and pursued it quite aggressively and I'm really happy with where I am now," she says.

For many twentysomethings the prospect of getting up for work at 4am on the weekends would be a deal-breaker, but for Lottie securing her own show last year was a dream come true. She has even learned to appreciate being an early bird.

"I wasn't a morning person, but I am now because I have forced myself to be one," she says. "I get up at about 4am and that's not a natural time for anyone to wake up, but once you get into a routine it does get easier."

Lottie likes to keep it authentic - there is no pre-polished broadcasting persona, what you hear is what you get.

"Maybe it is because I have had an inside view of things for a long time and that I have seen from the get go that it's always much better to just be yourself," she says.

Lottie admits that as the eldest of the five Ryan siblings she is intensely protective of her family, but she is also very proud of each and every one.

It is, she agrees with a giggle, a very theatrical and motivated household, with younger brother Rex currently working on his acting career and sister Bonnie carving out a music career.

travelling

"It actually goes much further back than people realise," Lottie says. "Everybody attributes it to my dad because obviously he was the most well known, but actually my dad's mother's family, the Burkes, were an incredibly theatrical family.

"They ran the Olympia Theatre and the costume shop that was above it and they were involved in all of the stage productions. So that's really where it started; we are all just a bunch of show-offs!" she says, laughing.

Lottie herself has trained at New York's Broadway Dance Centre and she is open to travelling again in the future.

"I love Ireland but I am pretty young, I'm only in my 20s so I would love to travel if the opportunity presented itself, but as of right now it's not on my radar, right now I am really happy where I am," she says.

So what are the most important elements in life for Lottie right now?

"That's a big question," she says, pausing to ponder it for a moment.

"Family time is definitely important to me, and doing things that make you laugh," she says.

"Life is so short, you have to be able to laugh."

The Early Early Breakfast Show is on Saturdays and Sundays at 6am on RTE 2fm

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