herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

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

DJ Dave Fanning
DJ Dave Fanning

Dave Fanning has said that his long-time colleague and friend, Tony Fenton will be remembered as "one of the greats" in Irish radio.

Dave also revealed that he knew the cancer had returned and Tony would not make it back to his beloved airwaves.

"I wasn't shocked when I heard the news yesterday morning. He was sick for a long time and he beat it but it came back," Dave told the Herald.

"I talked to him about four or five weeks ago and he said he was coming back on air but it turned out it wasn't to be.

"The cancer came back the second time and he wasn't able to beat it," he added.

Even though he was sick, Dave said Tony was eternally optimistic and was "always a glass half-full sort to follow.

"He took the route of massive optimism all the way - when he told me he was going back on air, I believed him," Dave said.

"He just didn't want to hear anything bad, he was always looking towards the future but when the cancer came back in a few different places it was just too much for him."

Tony started his career at pirate radio station ARD before going on to work at 2fm and, later, Today FM. Dave said: "They just don't make them like that any more.

"Tony was part of something that was very important, back when radio DJs were superstars," he said.

"He came to the fore back in the 80s and was a totally professional, old school DJ."

Dave (59) added that Tony was larger than life and he was the same off the air as he was when he was presenting his show.

"He was full of life, he was every cliche you can imagine. He was himself, his personality and then some - he was always one step ahead of everyone else," he said.

"He was always himself, just over the top both on and off the air - he was just real.

"He was one of the greats and he will be dearly missed."

hnews@herald.ie

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