He might not agree, but of course he is a national treasure!
It was announced early on Tuesday 8th January that the undisputed “King of the DJs” Larry Gogan was to retire from 2FM, where he has broadcast for the past 40 years. By mid-morning Larry was Trending on Twitter and this caused great excitement everywhere except it would appear for Larry who later that day asked Joe Duffy on RTE Radio 1’s Liveline programme “is that good?”
Only 24 hours after the announcement, Larry’s decision to move permanently to one of RTE Radio’s digital channels, RTE Gold has made news on every platform imaginable. A lot of the following morning’s newspapers published editorials in praise of one of the “good guys” of public life in Ireland.
On Tuesday afternoon there was a queue of celebrity callers to Liveline as Larry was a studio guest for its duration. Eurovision winner Johnny Logan, Boyzone members Keith Duffy and Ronan Keating, Singer Tommy Fleming, Irish country star Brendan Shine, former 2FM colleague Marty Whelan and many others spoke in glowing terms of Larry’s career behind the mic and each commented on how the beloved DJ had been instrumental in assisting them in their careers. One of Larry’s daughters was also on the line to chat in loving terms about her dad.
While the legendary Gogan has been on 2FM since it launched in 1979 he has been working on radio since the 1950’s. In recent times Larry has spoken to various reporters and broadcasters and the origins of his amazing career are well known, as are his memorable trips around the country to broadcast from the famous Roadcaster in the early days of 2FM.
The stories of the “Just a minute” quiz, his Eurovision antics aided by fellow Irish man Terry Wogan through the years, his “Golden Hour” and many other recognisable features from Larry’s programme through the years are legendary and in the hours following Tuesday’s announcement they have pretty much gone viral, and not for the first time.
The radio industry in Ireland is not as easy a career as one might think and it is certainly more difficult the higher up the food chain one travels in the business. However, Larry Gogan has survived and thrived in this difficult environment. Not only that but he has done so while managing to leave a hugely positive mark on what appears to be every life his career has touched. His support of, and assistance given to, younger broadcasters is legendary along with the kindness and generosity shown to fans through the years.
Larry had to correct many of the Liveline callers on the day his shift to a new channel was announced as they wished him well in his retirement. While nobody is sure what age Larry Gogan is (and he’s not telling) there is a “ballpark figure” that suggests others would actually have retired many years ago but thankfully full retirement is not for Larry who lives for his broadcasting by all accounts.
Despite recent health issues that include his need for dialysis a few times a week and the arthritis that he says has slowed him down, the golden voice of Larry Gogan is still youthful and in remarkable condition for a man of whatever age he is.
Let us hope that we will hear those dulcet tones for a long time to come on RTE Gold. In the meantime “Thank You Larry Gogan” for the decades of solid and entertaining radio you have given us, for the support you have given the generations who follow in your footsteps and for the obvious love of your craft that has undoubtedly inspired numerous broadcasters that have come and gone over the years and those who are still working.