Tiny acorns

I didn’t think there was any image left from those days. It just goes to show, some things you can’t hide from!

I had joined the station as a radio announcer. I used to sing in O’Donoghue’s pub, The Coffee Kitchen and The Swamp folk club and someone had told a guy called Joe O’Donnell (an RTÉ producer/director) that I might fulfil his needs for an Irish equivalent of the BBC’s ‘Play School’. 

I was invited to a party by Joe Mulholland, who subsequently I worked for in current affairs when he was the editor of ‘Today Tonight’. In the course of the evening there was a sing-song. I sang some of the ballads I was singing at the time. Joe O’Donnell was there quietly auditioning me. I had no idea! That was how I got the job.

The show (‘Bábaró’) was on three days a week – on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday – with a different set of presenters on each day. I was teamed up with Hilary Orpen; Barry McGovern, who went on to be the great interpreter of Beckett, was another of the presenters. [Each team] would record every third Saturday. I would come in and do three [episodes] with Hilary Orpen and then three weeks later I’d be in again to do three more.