The Ray D'Arcy Show

The Ray D'Arcy Show
The Ray D'Arcy Show
Genre Chat / music
Running time 09:00 – 12:00
Country  Ireland
Languages English
Home station Today FM
Recording studio Marconi House, Digges Lane, Dublin 2
Audio format FM and Digital radio
Website Official site
Podcast D'Arcy's Pod

The Ray D'Arcy Show is Today FM's weekday mid-morning radio show presented by Ray D'Arcy. It is on air from 09:00–12:00 midday, competing with RTÉ 2fm's Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ Radio 1's Pat Kenny and Newstalk's Tom Dunne (a former colleague of D'Arcy's who sometimes filled in for him on The D'Arcy Show).[1]

The production team of Jenny Kelly, Will Hanafin and Mairead Farrell and researcher Siobhan Hogan feature prominently on the show, with Kelly known for her weekly Fix-it Friday slot and Farrell for her daily "Odd-One-Out Quiz". Other contributors to The Ray D'Arcy Show have included Maeve Higgins, Quentin Fottrell, Conor Pope, Pixie McKenna and Arthur Murphy. In addition it supports various causes such as road safety and the Irish Cancer Society.[2]

In 2008, The D'Arcy Show had 245,000 listeners, a reduction of 9,000 from the previous year.[3] However, he has been stealing listeners from Tubridy since the untimely death of Gerry Ryan in 2010,[4][5][6] and in February 2011 he dislodged Ryan Tubridy as Ireland's "King of the Mid-Morning Airwaves".[7] JNLR figures in early 2011 put him at 3,000 more listeners than RTÉ, a first for a Today FM show.[2]

D'Arcy has won "Best National DJ" Meteor Awards in three consecutive years for this show.



In the late 1990s, D'Arcy transferred to Today FM. There he took over the mid-morning show from Tim Kelly which went out from 10:00 to 12:45. This slot was later changed to 9:00 to 12:00, entering direct competition with RTÉ 2fm's The Gerry Ryan Show. The Ray D'Arcy Show is responsible for launching the professional career of the comedienne Maeve Higgins, who auditioned for a nationwide competition organised by the show in February 2004.[8]

The show embarked on a Discover Ireland Feel Good tour of the country in early 2009.[9]

Sharon Corr and Joe Echo performed a duet of "Fairytale of New York" on the show in December 2009.[10]

Mairead Farrell has said she will never leave the show.[11]

Regular features

The D'Arcy Show has achieved something of a cult status due to some of its quirky segments.


A reference to Arthur Murphy's Mailbag, Murphy reads out emails from the listeners on a weekly basis.[12]

Fix-it Friday

One of the most popular features of The D'Arcy Show is "Fix-it Friday", which, as is evident by its name, takes place each Friday. It involves D'Arcy and his assistant Jenny Kelly's attempts to find the solution to any question the listenership request of them.[13]

Odd-One-Out Quiz

Another popular segment is the "Odd-One-Out Quiz" which takes place on the half hour of every hour every day the show is on air, i.e. three times per day and fifteen times per week. This involves D'Arcy asking a phone-in contestant a series of questions over thirty seconds, each involving three items, one of which is the odd one out. A regular example would be two consonants and a vowel. The fast-paced delivery is usually enough to unhinge the contestant although D'Arcy is usually generous in his delivery and will often repeat questions after the allotted time has run out. Contestants are requested to enter if they fit a specific and topical theme which changes daily, i.e. owning an interesting pet, being members of the hairless population, or shoppers who have had an accident in the supermarket.

What Would Maeve Do...

The comedian Maeve Higgins contributes to he show on a regular basis. Each Tuesday Higgins answers questions and dilemmas sent in by the listeners in her own unique way.[14]

No Agony! No Aunt!

Quentin Fottrell advises listeners about personal relationships on Wednesdays at 10.40am.

Annual events

Even Better Than...

Each year the show releases a charity album containing covers performed by Irish musicians on the show. The most recent was titled Even Better Than the Disco Thing and was released in December 2008.[15][16] The name is derived from the U2 song, Even Better Than the Real Thing, and the early compilations were named thus.

Shave Or Dye

D'Arcy has played a major role in Today FM's Shave Or Dye Campaign.[17] The Ray D'Arcy Show features in the Guinness Book of Records after it broke the world record for most heads shaved in an hour by a team of 10 barbers, total heads shaved 315.[2]

Past guests

Past guests have included Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly,[18] Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson,[19] Myleene Klass,[20] Dylan Moran and Mark Doherty,[21] Trinny and Susannah,[22] Dermot O'Leary,[23] Anne Doyle [24] and Miriam O'Callaghan,[25]

Notable incidents

The D'Arcy Show has also seen many unusual innovations. For instance D'Arcy and his production team, Jenny Kelly, Mairéad Farrell and Will Hanafin once performed a spoof version of the OK Go hit "Here It Goes Again" in D'Arcy's back garden in frozen conditions.[26] In 2008 D'Arcy stripped naked to participate in an Irish Spencer Tunick art project and later spoke of it on his show.[27][28] Later, live on his radio show, he criticised Orla McAdam of The Apprentice, a former follower of D'Arcy in his days with children's television, and upset her.[29]

In 2007, the show featured a petition for Amhrán na bhFiann to be sung after Ireland's Call in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[30]

Huberta's shopping

On the week of 24–28 November 2008 a Dublin caller named Huberta explained she had located someone else's shopping in the boot of her car. It includes some meat (which she has since refrigerated), some bottles of wine and some Mexican sauce. D'Arcy spent the week following her attempts to track down the mystery owner, with dramatic daily updates that involved the scanning of Tesco customer records and the hiring of a private detective. The mystery is still ongoing.

Chris Tarrant interview

In February 2009, D'Arcy interviewed the British game show host Chris Tarrant of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? via a phoneline, in an incident which later gained media attention. Overhearing the show's team criticising the England national rugby union team beforehand, Tarrant opened the interview by saying: "There's something very depressing about sitting here listening to you talk about how rubbish the English team is." Tarrant was then asked what he thought of the multiple Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire which mimics his game show. Tarrant responded by saying: "I can't relate to it. He's a sleazy host with an earring. The game show is the cornerstone to my life and I just can't relate to the movie." Tarrant then attempted to promote his new show The Colour of Money. D'Arcy asked him to explain the format of the show, saying: "The key to a good format is you can explain it in one or two sentences. Like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is, in effect, 'you answer 15 questions and you win a million'. That's it. So, with The Colour of Money can you do that?" Tarrant replied with: "The Colour of Money. . . . .there are 20 cash machines, all with different amounts in them ranging up to a total of more than £25,000. You choose 10 colours and they have different amounts in them. If all 10 add up to the total of money you want, then you win. If the money is not enough, then you lose out and there's no in between. It's either £80,000 or £90,000 or whatever, or you go home with el zippo." D'Arcy responded to this failure to keep to his limits by laughing and saying: "That is a real test of the format!"[31]

Brian Cowen naked paintings

On the weekend of 21–22 March 2009, an unknown person placed satirical portraits of a naked Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the National Gallery of Ireland and the gallery of the Royal Hibernian Academy.[32] The artist, Conor Casby, emailed the Ray Darcy Show anonymously, claiming responsibility for the creation of the paintings, but not their hanging. Gardaí subsequently raided the Today FM studios and the producer, Will Hanafin, was asked to hand over the emails claiming that the placing of the paintings constituted indecency, incitement and criminal damage. Hanafin refused to provide the emails without a warrant.[33]

Ryan Tubridy/Gordon Ramsay

An interview conducted with British chef Gordon Ramsay by Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show led to comment in the Irish media when Ramsay engaged in personal criticism of Tubridy over his appearance. Ramsay compared Tubridy's ears to Dumbo, saying: "Look at those things, you must take off coming down the stairs. I'm surprised you can get through the door".[34] The chef also spoke of his desire to bring Tubridy to one of his restaurants, commenting "You look like you haven't eaten in years. You're too thin. You're like a little windy piece of asparagus".[34] The Evening Herald said Tubridy had been "ridiculed and humiliated [...] in front of a squirming television audience".[34] A spokesperson for Tubridy said he understood the comments as a joke.[34] Whilst appearing on The Ray D'Arcy Show to promote The Late Late Toy Show some weeks later, Tubridy responded to the incident: "I thought he was a bit, em, British for my liking. I won’t be buying the books [Ramsay was promoting]. In fact, I didn't take the free one".[35]

Russell Brand controversy

Russell Brand alleged that Ray D'Arcy had stolen items, guests and jokes from the Russell Brand radio show. Darcy disputed this although fans of both shows noticed the similarities

"The mother of all radio battles"

After musician Jim Corr appeared on the first episode of The Saturday Night Show in 2010 D'Arcy said it was "irresponsible" for Corr to have discussed his views on the 2009 flu pandemic.[36] Corr rang the radio show and the two engaged in what the Dundalk Democrat's Gary McLaughlin described as "the mother of all radio battles", with D'Arcy at one point saying "I think we need to get down to this level with you" over the possibility of the government purposefully providing dangerous vaccines and Corr saying D'Arcy was "very patronising" and urging him, "Just be careful not to misquote me in the future".[36]

Nuala Doyle e-mail

In 2011 D'Arcy wept on air while reading an email from Nuala Doyle, whose son Carl developed luekaemia and died aged 16.[2]

8 April 2011

Jenny's father, Michael, died in his sleep on 8 April 2011. Jenny learned of the death from Today FM chief executive Willie O'Reilly while on air. The Ray D'Arcy Show was taken off the air abruptly as a result, prompting thousands of texts and calls from worried listeners. Ray and Jenny were scheduled to lead 800 people on a run in Ringsend as part of the Run With Ray campaign, but athlete Sonia O'Sullivan replaced them when tragedy struck.[37] Today FM breakfast show host Ian Dempsey took over the airwaves immediately.[38]

Special shows

The Den radio reunion

On 14 November 2008, a special edition of The Ray D'Arcy Show was broadcast live from Vicar Street, Dublin. It reflected on the formative years of The Den (formerly presented by D'Arcy who himself succeeded Today FM breakfast host, Ian Dempsey) from 1986-1994 in front of a live audience who shared their memories.[39] Listeners were also invited to contribute, after which D'Arcy would dip into his O'Byrne's World of Wonder sack which contained toy prizes. The show was even video-streamed live online. D'Arcy was not the only original member of the team present; Zig and Zag featured heavily as they were promoting their new DVD Best Bitz From Back Den, Don Conroy put in an appearance to instruct D'Arcy how to draw a Barn Owl, Ian Dempsey turned up later (he had been presenting his breakfast show from the Today FM studios directly beforehand), a 4 ft Ted attacked D'Arcy at 10:10 as Zig and Zag cheered him on with the audience, and, to Zig and Zag's disgust, Dustin made a cameo appearance toward the end.

The show opened with D'Arcy counting down the Top 5 Theme Tunes from programmes broadcast on The Den. He revealed that #3 (The Littlest Hobo) was purchased by RTÉ in Cannes as part of a buy-one-get-one-free deal and was given to The Den to broadcast - such deals were typical of The Den's budget.

# Theme
5 Dastardly and Muttley
4 Bosco
3 The Littlest Hobo
2 Mighty Mouse
1 Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles/Captain Planet

There were reminders of Don Conroy's special hugs, D'Arcy's walking upon invisible stairs and "Ray's Rave" where children sent their parents from the room, turned off the lights, pulled the curtains and raved. A repeat of this was carried out at 11:45. There were catch-ups with old members of the team such as Ciara Carroll, who is now a PA for Dublin Airport.

D'Arcy played music from these years throughout the show, beginning with Europe's "The Final Countdown" from 1986. There were also live performances from Irish musicians, accompanied by Ronan Johnson and the Boogie Woogie Band, who had appeared on The Den. Steve and Joe Wall performed "Brewing Up a Storm" from their years with The Stunning (they claimed beforehand to have been high on magic mushrooms on The Den) Cadbury's gorilla, Johnny Donnelly from The Saw Doctors appeared to remind of their ten-plus appearances and invited D'Arcy to run the Dublin Marathon). Liam Ó Maonlaí performed "Don't Go", whilst Jerry Fish performed "Celebrate" to close the show.


In 2005, 2006 and 2007[40] Ray won the Best Irish Radio DJ award at the Meteor Music Awards, cementing his position as one of Ireland's most popular radio presenters. D'Arcy always maintains that this should be seen as a group award, and that credit should be shared with Jenny Kelly, Mairead Farrell and producer Will Hanafin, who also contributes to presenting the show. Despite this, it was only ever awarded to himself so he can claim the credit here. In 2008 D'Arcy was beaten by his namesake Ray Foley who launched a daily campaign to dethrone him.[41]

In 2006 The Ray D'Arcy Show won the Community/Social Action award at the PPI Irish Radio Awards for their work in highlighting road safety problems and deaths on the roads in Ireland. This was due in part, to their "Don't be a Fucking Eejit" radio adverts, which contained real-life stories.

In 2007 The Ray D'Arcy Show won the Best Light Entertainment Programme award at the PPI Irish Radio Awards.[42]

Year Nominated work Award Result
2005 Ray D'Arcy Best Irish DJ at the Meteor Awards Won
2006 Ray D'Arcy Best Irish DJ at the Meteor Awards Won
2006 The Ray D'Arcy Show Community/Social Action award at the PPI Irish Radio Awards Won
2007 Ray D'Arcy Best Irish DJ at the Meteor Awards Won
2007 The Ray D'Arcy Show Best Light Entertainment Programme award at the PPI Irish Radio Awards Won
2008 Ray D'Arcy Best Irish DJ at the Meteor Awards Nominated


  1. ^ "The radio stars who thought they could never go too far". Irish Independent. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d Finn, Melanie (31 March 2011). "I'm not motivated by money ... but I am very well paid". Evening Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Bray, Allison (14 November 2008). "Tubridy rides crest of airwaves". Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Pope, Conor (28 October 2011). "Fewer tuning in to Tubridy on radio as show loses 87,000 listeners". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tubridy loses 87,000 listeners". JOE. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Pope, Conor (27 October 2011). "Tubridy still losing listeners". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Horan, Niamh (20 February 2011). "D'Arcy wooed by RTE before being crowned king of airwaves". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Hynes, Liadan (28 May 2006). "'Bridezilla' and the art of making people laugh". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "D'Arcy's Ray of sunshine: Radio show broadcasts from Carlingford". The Argus. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sharon Corr duets with Joe Echo". Hot Press. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  11. ^ Nolan, Lorna (12 February 2010). "I'll never quit radio for TV says Mairead". Evening Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Emailbag". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  13. ^ "Fix It Friday". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  14. ^ "WHAT WOULD MAEVE DO ...". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  15. ^ "Ray D'Arcy releases covers album". Hot Press. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  16. ^ "Digging deep for a good cause". The Irish Times. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2009. "The Ray Darcy Show on Today FM has already put together a number of cover version albums to aid various charities. The latest is Even Better Than The Disco Thing with Cathy Davey, Lisa Hannigan, Jape, Republic Of Loose, The Blizzards Duke Special, Director and many more getting on down. All proceeds go to the National Children’s Hospital and Barretstown." 
  17. ^ Tyaransen, Olaf (25 February 2010). "Glad to be Ray". Hot Press. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  18. ^ "Stay Classy....". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  19. ^ "Colin and Brendan..". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  20. ^ "Gorgeous Myleene!". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  21. ^ "Film With Me In It". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  22. ^ "Trinny and Susannah!". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  23. ^ "Dermot O Leary". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  24. ^ "Anne Doyle". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  25. ^ "Miriam in studio...". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  26. ^ "OK Ray D'Arcy Show GO". Today FM. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  27. ^ "Ray in the nude!". Today FM. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  28. ^ Riegel, Ralph (18 June 2008). "1,200 go naked for sake of Blarney art shoot". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Nolan, Lorna (27 October 2008). "Sacked apprenctice (sic) Orla upset by D'Arcy's harsh words". Evening Herald. Retrieved 27 October 2008. 
  30. ^ "Change your tune, guys". Irish Independent. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2007. 
  31. ^ Costello, John (27 February 2009). "Priceless D'Arcy puts Tarrant in a terrible tangle". Evening Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  32. ^ "Naked taoiseach paintings removed". BBC News. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009. 
  33. ^ O'Doherty, Caroline (18 June 2008). "Today FM producer brands reaction ‘crazy’". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  34. ^ a b c d Nolan, Lorna (10 October 2009). "Ryan refuses to get in a flap over chef Ramsay's nasty 'Dumbo' ears jibes". Evening Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2009. 
  35. ^ Fottrell, Quentin (28 November 2009). "In the wettest week of the year, nothing is cut and dried". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 December 2009. "On Wednesday’s The Ray D’Arcy Show (Today FM, weekdays) there was a collision of two worlds when Ryan Tubridy arrived. This kind of cross-pollination would likely give the RTÉ brass conniptions. But it’s nice to see a radio station with the confidence to invite on a competitor. [...] D’Arcy is the guy next door. Tubridy is a showman who doesn’t appear to have an “off” button – on-air at least. Tubridy said Gordon Ramsay was his least favourite television guest. (In an interview earlier this year Ramsay poked fun at Tubridy’s ears, though this came after Tubridy asked Ramsay if he had any work done.) “I thought he was a bit, em, British for my liking,” Tubridy said. D’Arcy didn’t pursue that, but I wondered what exactly he meant. Does a generous sprinkling of Anglophobia get you into the good graces of the Irish public? I thought we were over all of that. “I won’t be buying the books,” Tubridy added. “In fact, I didn’t take the free one.”" 
  36. ^ a b McLaughlin, Gary (3 February 2010). "Dundalk musician Jim Corr and Today FM DJ Ray D'Arcy blast each other live on air over swine flu vaccine conspiracy". Dundalk Democrat. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  37. ^ Sweeney, Ken (9 April 2011). "D'Arcy's show taken off air after co-host's father dies". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  38. ^ Martin, Paul (9 April 2011). "On-air shocker for radio couple at news Jenny's dad has died". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  39. ^ "Ray Re-unites with Zig and Zag!". Today FM. Accessed 15 November 2008.
  40. ^ "Snow Patrol big winners at Meteors". RTÉ. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  41. ^ "Eight awards in a row for Westlife". Daily Star. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2008. 
  42. ^ "Recognising the Best in Irish Radio Broadcasting". PPI Radio Awards 2006. 

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