FLYING HIGH Alan Murphy from Ballinrobe.
THERE is never a typical day for me because each one is so different and so busy, but I absolutely love it. I officially start work at Galway Bay FM from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. I prep for my radio show for three hours before going live on air at 3pm until 5pm.
It’s a lifestyle magazine type show and has a great variety of music. It’s also a mix of fun chat, celebrity interviews, fashion tips and showbiz gossip.
Before I leave the house in the morning, I always do my hair. I’m quite fussy about my hair and get it cut every single week. I like it to look freshly cut at all times. I usually have a good breakfast too and pretty much chase my tail for the rest of the day.
Before work, I could be doing anything from writing an article to working on a book to making up an Irish dancing step. I then leave work at 5pm and I’m home at 6pm, just in time for the fastest bite to eat ever before teaching a dancing class every evening from 6.15pm until about 9pm.
I usually try and fit in a walk then or go for a run at the gym. Weekends are filled with Irish dancing competitions, 6am starts and often 16 hour days. And then it’s Sunday night before I know it and time to do it all over again. Sometimes I wish there were eight days in a week, then I might get a day off.
I got to work on a lot of big showbiz stories this year and I was lucky enough to meet some great people, one of whom was Russell Brand, who I’ve wanted to interview for so long.
He was totally awesome in every way.
Then just last week, I took part in the Galway Simon ‘Sleep Out’ and slept on the streets of Tuam for the night to raise money for the homeless and to hopefully prevent more people from ending up in this situation. So much more has to be done to help the homeless in this country and it was the most eye-opening night of my life.
I also recently wrote a guest chapter for a new book about the positive mental health benefits of Irish dancing, which can be as effective as meditation in dealing with mental illness. And I’m starting work on my second book, ‘Living Like Mariah’, very soon.
In terms of downtime, I love tennis and I used to play all the time but I rarely get a chance anymore. I was actually training to be a tennis coach when I fell and broke my wrist and that’s when I ended up back in dancing instead. It was by total accident that I became a dance teacher but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I also love to travel any chance I get.
I’m so blessed to have the best, most supportive family ever. I have two sisters, Shelley and Pamela, and my mam and dad, Ann and Martin. We all live within 45 minutes of each other and see and talk to each other all the time.
The last year has also brought two incredible nephews to my life, Jack and Finn, who are just the coolest. We’re all completely infatuated with them. I can’t wait to show them LA when they’re older! And then there’s my 14 year-old Jack Russell dog called Hasi.
If there is anybody reading this who is thinking of getting into broadcasting or the media, I’d say ‘do it!’ It is such a fun, crazy job that’s completely different every day, especially if it’s showbiz journalism. I’ve been everywhere from the Eurovision Song Contest with Jedward to the red carpet at Hollywood Movie Premieres. It’s an insane life, but also a super competitive one with long, unsociable hours. You’ve got to be prepared to work like hell and have a very thick skin.
I’ve worked like crazy for all the things I’ve got in my media career and in my dancing life. Nothing was easy. But it’s more fun that way and the end result is more rewarding.
In conversation with Mike Finnerty
Name: Alan Murphy
Occupation: Radio host/journalist/author/Irish dancing teacher and adjudicator
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Believe it or not, I still think I’d do every single thing that I do now because I love my very varied career so much — but maybe for nine months out of the year instead of 12! I’d spend the other three months chilling out in Los Angeles.
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I’m so ridiculously competitive. In everything from dancing to board games to tennis.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
I’m obsessed with a thing called Avra Chips in one of my favourite restaurants in LA. They’re crispy zucchini and eggplant chips with tzatziki. Unreal.
What makes you angry?
Rude people and bad manners. I can’t stand when people have no manners with staff, especially in restaurants. Be nice! Say thank you…and leave a decent tip.
Andre Agassi. I’m obsessed with tennis. Now it’s Rafa Nadal. He’s a warrior.
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Eggs. Milk. Butter.
Favourite TV show?
I love easy TV like ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, and the teenager in me is hooked on Riverdale. My all-time favourite show is Friends.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Oh so many, that’s one of the most fun parts of my job. It was pretty cool meeting Lindsay Lohan. And Simon Cowell. But meeting my idol, Ryan Seacrest, was the best and something I’ll never forget.
Best holiday? Always, always, always LA.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
I still act like a kid a lot of the time so thankfully I have the best of both worlds. As I work with kids too, I don’t think I’ll ever lose the big child in me.
What’s your most prized possession?
My late grandmother’s ring. I love jewellery and this is a beautiful gold ring with an amethyst stone. I wear it everyday and believe it keeps me safe.
Best advice you ever got?
Just to be yourself. My parents always encouraged me to be who I want to be and not care what people think. Life is so much easier when you don’t worry about other people and their judgements. Also a dear friend of mine always says, “You live everyday, you only die once.”
Describe yourself in three words?
Determined. Ballsy. Happy.