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Simon Murdoch, Host of ‘Cork’s More Music Breakfast’ on C103

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019 5:00pm

Name and position: Simon Murdoch, Host of ‘Cork’s More Music Breakfast’ on C103

Age: 34

Lives: Blackrock

Family: Wife Síle

Pets: Dog in the family home, treated like a prince. My parents’ favourite son!

Favourite thing about Cork: It’s impossible to name just one! There are so many things to love. Our coastline, our grub, the fact that there are actual dictionaries available that translate our own phrases and slang back to English. I think our airport is fantastic to have on our doorstep, and we probably take it for granted at times. But, above all, we have Lennox’s chipper. And Tanora.

Least favourite thing about Cork: There aren’t many things not to like about Cork. I lived away from here for almost eight years, and during that time I was home at least three weekends a month! It draws you back, you can’t stay away for too long. 

I’m lucky enough to be on the road at ‘off-peak’ times because of my working hours, but being stuck at the Jack Lynch or Bloomfield at 5pm can be the stuff of nightmares (thankfully Martina on Drivetime C103 is there to help you along!)

One thing you’d change about Cork: Move us a little closer to the equator… I'm fierce pale. I’d bring back Roches Stores too, it was an institution. I worked there during school and college, and it’s where I met my wife!

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

I think it was the typical jobs - policeman, fireman, soccer player etc. I have had an interest in aircraft since a young age, so I think I went through a ‘wanting to be a pilot’ stage (can you imagine!). Oh, and a popstar. My mum and dad might be better to answer that one, but please don’t ask, as I’m fairly sure my mother still has tapes of four-year-old me trying to be Michael Jackson singing ‘Bad’.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I started making radio shows in my bedroom when I was younger. They were appalling! But I knew in my teenage years it was something I loved. I went to CSN College to study radio broadcasting and media, and blagged my way onto a pirate radio station (Kiss FM - they were great times!). I did some shows at UCC campus radio, and in 2006 I took on weekend on-air shifts at 96FM.

In 2008 I moved to iRadio which is based in the midlands. I hosted a daily mid-morning show for almost eight years at iRadio, and I loved every minute. It’s a super station that broadcasts to almost half of the country! I learned an incredible amount about broadcasting, media, the industry and it’s where I developed my skills as a presenter.

In 2017, myself and Síle made the decision to move home to Cork, to buy a house and become grown-ups. I worked in digital media for a year and presented weekend radio shows at Red FM. In mid-2018 the opportunity arose at C103, and I said yes immediately. You’d struggle to find a radio presenter who doesn’t want to work on a breakfast show. It’s a coveted slot. On top of that, I get to work with the amazing people at 96FM/C103, one of the top radio groups in the country. To be asked to present a breakfast show in your home county, it’s a no-brainer. I love it.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

It’s a passion, I really love what I do. A lot goes on behind the scenes to make a radio show and station work - strategy, creativity, ideas, promotion etc, but at the end of the day it’s a connection between me and a listener. Whether it’s helping someone make their morning a little bit easier, or giving someone a chuckle on their way to work, or just telling simple stories on the radio that pricks someone's interest, these are the things I love. Local radio is one of the most trusted, informative and entertaining forms of media. It’s a joy and a privilege to be part of it.

What motivates you?

You mean what motivates me to get out of bed and go to work in the morning? Easy - My mortgage repayments.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Hmmm. That’s a funny one. I’d probably tell him/me to stop eating so many sausage rolls and play more sport. I’d also say that travel is important and to go and see as much of the world as you can when you can. And I would definitely tell him (me!) that it’s OK to want have a career in something that’s ‘not the norm’ – yes, your mates may want to go on and be teachers, or lawyers, or engineers, but that doesn’t mean you have too. Carve your own path, do something you enjoy, and you never know - you might be good at it! I’d also tell myself to put a few bob on Trump becoming president… and I’d tell myself to trademark the words Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Uber and iPhone.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

A teacher, a lawyer or engineer! Although I’ve always had a huge interest in live events, so maybe a promoter/booker. While at iRadio, I managed a lot of the web and social media content, and I worked for a year in a digital marketing agency. As technology continues to blow our minds, and people continue to live by looking at a screen, I think it’s important for media professionals to be on the ball when it comes to digital media and the constant evolving nature of it. So maybe I’d be working in that realm.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

Getting married in 2016 was a big one! Although I can’t take any credit for the organisation of it. Síle did it all. Career-wise, landing my current job as breakfast host on C103 was huge for me. Also, in 2016 I was nominated for a national radio ‘PPI Award’ for Radio DJ of the Year. That was amazing too - although I didn’t win!!

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

Homer Simpson.

What is the life dream now?

Liverpool FC to win the title... oh, and to live happily, healthily and peacefully of course (while Liverpool win the league). Podcasting is an area of media that is growing exponentially in terms of the amount of podcasts that are being produced, and the amount of people now consuming them. They are the ‘Netflix’ or radio. So my very own one is on the way. I’m working on it and it has lots of potential… so watch this space. 

How do you switch off?

Watching my beloved Liverpool FC, although that isn’t exactly switching off, as the heart rate would be going through the roof. I try and get to the gym a few times a week, play six-a-side soccer, and binge on TV shows. I get to the movies too, I can’t get enough of the popcorn! Trips to Kinsale, West Cork, dinner and drinks with friends and a few rounds are golf are always good too!

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Oasis in Páirc Uí Chaoimh 1996. I was lucky enough to go along with my aunt and uncle. I was 12, and it was incredible. I think that’s where a love for music was born. I’m still a huge Oasis/Liam/Noel fan. I saw them at Slane in ‘09 too, and I’ve seen Noel solo a bunch of times since... Fingers crossed they’ll kiss and make up and give us the day out we all want!

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Sitting at the dock in Kinsale on a sunny day is hard to beat. Oh, and Lennox’s.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

When are you at your happiest?

Spending quality time with herself, on holidays, eating good food (especially a good burger), watching LFC play good football, and sleeping in!!!

Any regrets?

Nope.

What is your hidden talent?

 I’m told I’m OK at doing accents… and I’m quality at singing - when on my own and no-one else is in earshot.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I worked with the legend that is Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart from ‘Home and Away’) on an event a few years back and we are still in pretty regular contact. I’d consider him a mate, even if he is a flamin’ mongrel.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Make sure to listen to C103 every morning!

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