Dave has been described as the ultimate fan, who through broadcasting, has been able to make a career out of his many passions in life, chiefly, music and movies! Dave hosted The Dave Fanning show on RTÉ 2FM between 1pm-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays where he brought the listeners a mix of interviews, newspaper reviews, movies and music. On RTÉ Radio One he presented ‘Dave Fanning’s Story of Irish Rock’, where Dave told the story of Irish rock from his perspective starting in the late 60s. In February 2018, Dave presented a documentary on RTÉ One called ‘Dolores’ after the untimely passing of The Cranberries singer, Dolores O’Riordan.
In 2018, Dave partnered with Sirius XM, an American broadcasting company that provides satellite radio and online radio services. The online radio service provided delighted listeners with a limited run of all of U2’s music, live performances, rare tracks and indeed stories from the band titled ‘The U2 Experience’. Fanning provided Sirius XM with a number of extraordinary interviews he has conducted with the band throughout the years. This provided listener’s a rare opportunity to delve into the archive and enjoy a little bit of music history.
He has also teamed up with Virgin Media to create and host an On-Demand review series called Fanning on Film which features interviews and special features as well as exclusive looks at some of the available content on My Prime and also on Virgin Media’s customer channel.
His career in broadcasting began when he left University College Dublin in 1977 with a degree in English and Philosophy and a Higher Diploma in Education. In that year, Dave took over as editor of Ireland's only rock magazine Scene and began as a DJ on fledgling pirate music station Radio Dublin. Ireland's first official national pop radio station, RTÉ 2FM, was launched in the summer of 1979. Dave took the midnight shift five days a week.
By the early eighties, Dave was seen by the industry and music fans everywhere as Ireland's answer to John Peel, the legendary BBC Radio One presenter. Dave always supported young, new Irish talent; he played their demo tapes, he gave them sessions. His very first session in RTÉ 2FM was with a young, four-piece Dublin band called U2 and Dave's friendship with and support for the band led to Dave's listeners deciding on the A and B sides of the band's first single release. The band came into Dave's show five nights in succession and the public picked 'Out of Control' as the first single. Dave's friendship with the band continues to this day. Besides getting the world exclusive play on all U2 releases, the band recorded a specially-filmed musical tribute to Dave when he was presented, by Larry Mullen, with yet another major award from the Irish Music Industry.
Dave is the receiver of several awards and nominations, the first of which was a Jacob's Award in 1980 for "The Depth And Scope" of his radio show. He won numerous IRMA Awards and has won Best DJ at the Meteor Music Awards a total of three times and has been nominated at least twice more in 2008 and 2009, this after being granted the Industry Award in 2004. Dave also received the PPI Radio (now IMRO) award for his outstanding contribution to radio in Ireland.
Over the last couple of decades Dave has presented over twenty different series for RTÉ Television, including Rock Sundown, 2TV, Jobsuss, Visual Eyes, The Arts Show, Music Zone, Number One, a pop quiz which ran for six years, and The Movie Show, a movie review show which ran for ten years where Dave conducted many one-on-one interviews with movie stars. He also researched, wrote and presented up to 150 Rock Star interview show, and more recently The Last Broadcast and The 11th Hour. He also hosted RTÉ's live television coverage of Live 8 in Hyde Park, London (July 2005) and Live Earth in Wembley Stadium, London (July 2007). Besides various
music shows, both live and recorded, he presented political documentaries from Cambodia and Ethiopia.
In the early nineties, Dave presented various Channel 4 live TV music series from RockSteady to Friday at The Dome. He was a member of the Meteor Music Prize panel for its first 4 years and in 1994 Dave was invited by Richard Branson to join his new radio station, Virgin Radio, where he presented a four hour Saturday afternoon programme for 3 years. He was Programme Consultant on ITV's South Bank Show for their music special Cool Clear Crystal Streams and presented many documentaries on music including a BBC Radio 4 profile on Bono. He had a twenty-part rock star interview programme which aired on Sky Arts. Dave joined BBC Radio 6 for a four-part series celebrating Irish Music which was written and presented by Dave Fanning in April 2014.
Dave previously wrote for the Irish Daily Mail. Between 1983 and 1993 Dave was Rock Correspondent for The Irish Times and has written many articles for many publications at home and abroad. He was Movie Critic for The Sunday World from 1997 to 2004. Dave also wrote for Hot Press Magazine, the Evening Herald and the Irish Independent. HarperCollins published his autobiography The Thing Is in 2010.
In 2005, Fanning released an Irish-only triple album, Fanning's Fab 50 Vol 1. Sales for this compilation album reached 1.5 times platinum. Fanning's Fab 50 Vol 2 was released for the Christmas market in 2006, also going platinum. Fanning's Fab 50 Vol 3 included music pieces by U2, The Killers, R.E.M., Radiohead, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Massive Attack, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Coldplay, Sigur Rós, New Order, Blur, The Verve, Ryan Adams, The Stone Roses, The Good, the Bad & the Queen, Oasis and thirty others.
"When Billboard magazine referred to the introduction of RTÉ 2FM as one of the major factors behind the growth of Ireland as a major music centre, they really meant Dave Fanning, "Quoted in Hot Press Magazine. Rob Sharp of UK newspaper The Independent has referred to him as a "Legendary Irish DJ". BP Fallon commented in 2008: "Without Dave Fanning on the radio, music in Ireland would have had a poorer face. Dave changed things, opened up ears". The Sunday Tribune's Eithne Tynan has defined his style as a "Thousand words a minute, start a whole new sentence before you've finished the previous one”.
Dave has recorded interviews with just about every major (and many minor!) music personality of the past few decades including legends like: Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Eminem, Joni Mitchell, Garth Brooks, Robert Plant, Madonna, Beyoncé, J-Lo, and more. One-on-one interviews with movie stars include: Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Cameron Diaz, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Lindsay Lohan, Denis Quaid, Nicholas Cage, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Bruce Willis, Dan Ackroyd, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Dreyfuss, Ralph Fiennes, Eddie Murphy, Val Kilmer, Uma Thurman, George Clooney, Jeff Goldblum, Kim Basinger, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Robert De Niro, Antonio Banderas, Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Julianne Moore, Robin Williams, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Holly Hunter, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Liam Neeson, Glen Close, Scarlett Johansson and more.
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