Ian Dempsey celebrates 20 years on Breakfast

A host of famous voices surprised Ian Dempsey live on air at Today FM on Friday as his breakfast show celebrated 20 years on-air.

Boyzone’s Keith Duffy was the first to surprise Ian on air, posing as listener ‘Kevina Duffy’ and requesting his own hit ‘Picture of You’ to kick-start the nation just after 7am this morning. The well wishes from both listeners and celebrities continued to pour in throughout the morning including Dáithí O’Sé, Nevin Maguire and rugby stalwarts Ronan O’Gara and Donnacha O’Callaghan.

Donnacha O’Callaghan praised Ian’s contribution to Irish radio, saying: “You’re the Brian O’Driscoll of radio” while Ronan O’Gara told an emotional Ian: “I think what the people like about you is that we all see a little bit of ourselves in ya and you keep it real”

Dustin the Turkey was next up to wish Iano a ‘Happy Birthday’ during the shows regular ‘Friday Birthday Bumps’ feature. Dustin presented Ian with a gift of a somewhat vintage copy of VIP Magazine featuring a cover shoot of Ian and his family on location in Cork, some time ago.

Eamon Dunphy, a former Today FM presenter himself, also joined Ian to share some memories.

Mario Rosenstock, creator of Gift Grub on Ian’s Breakfast Show has worked alongside him since 1999: “Ian’s been through everything with me and I’ve learned everything from him….the person you hear on the radio is 100% the person he is: warm, mischievous, genuine and a legend. Here’s to another 20 years”

Today FM colleagues then flooded into studio to surprise Ian and present him with a cake while Ian listened to a montage of his incredible on-air moments over the last 20 years, including celebrity interviews with Liam Gallagher, Michael Buble, Sinead O’Connor, The Gleeson Family, Graham Norton, Colin Farrell, U2, Saoirse Ronan and the late Dolores O’Riordan.

Adelle Nolan, Today FM Programme Director paid tribute to Ian Dempsey: “We are thrilled that Ian been part of Today FM, and so many lives, for the last 20 years! A genuine, lovable, passionate professional; whose greatest joy is to entertain. We are so fortunate to have Ian waking our listeners up every day, and honoured to call him our friend and colleague”

Ian joined Today FM in 1998 with the infamous ad campaign, “Look who we’ve poached for Breakfast”, after leaving RTE 2FM.

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