Radio review: Sex and Spacey calm Anton Savage during first Today FM show

Nervous broadcaster forgot to pay for parking and was clamped while on air

Anton Savage kicked off the imaginatively named Anton Savage Show on Today FM with the Van Morrison ditty Days Like This. Perfect. Irish. Classic. Like the name of the show, it did exactly what it said on the tin.

It was a not-too-cocky and slightly vulnerable choice for the man tasked with riding the primetime racehorse that the popular Ray D’Arcy had just got off. And it looked like Anton planned to ride that horse right down the middle of the road.

The seasoned broadcaster sounded nervous as he took hold of this daily, morning slot.

News first, then Savage delivered the papers, summing up a colossal shift in Greek politics as “the thing of the Greek elections”. He was touchingly nervous, confusing Good Friday with St Patrick’s Day. A rookie mistake and one that even the listeners were calling in to correct.


Later, Savage was to reveal that he had got into work so early (the nerves, again) that he had forgotten to pay for his parking space before the show started. He was now clamped. Hearts and minds were won at that moment. We are all on “team clampee”.

Maybe the tugboat operator who won €500 in the daily quiz will help him out.

Musically, Savage made wise choices. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars and All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor shouted popular and successful. Biggest sounds on the planet. Aim high. Why not?

Drawing a gloss over The Edge’s guitar, which enjoyed its Buy And Sell moment in the sun, Savage moved on to sex, which definitely sells.

Porn is on all our minds. Savage got Bernadette Ryan of Relationships Ireland on to talk about a new Behaviour & Attitudes poll of 30-somethings that has left no one’s knicker drawer unrifled. It turns out quite a lot of 30-somethings have sex. Keep it up.

Savage is to be congratulated for mentioning masturbation on his first show, even if he did call it “happy alone time”. Cute.

Thanks to Anton we now also know that Dubliners are porn-hounds. Some 29 per cent of them accessing porn each week. Only 22 per cent of rural dwellers do so. Either there’s a lot to do down the country or the broadband is still playing up.

Kevin Spacey was a pretty starry name to get on your first shown and Anton and Kevin rubbed along very nicely.

The pesky listeners would have liked Savage to get the A-lister to do impressions, but he kept it a bit more serious with talk of Spacey’s recent Golden Globes win. And Spacey was kind to Anton on his first morning at big school. Not bad.

There was lots for those of us listening from the bedroom – and no, it wasn’t just the talk of porn and the banter about beards making men sexy. Anton had something for the kids – or at least the begetters of kids – with talk about a new cartoon series based on illustrator Niamh Sharkey’s monster oeuvre. Good clean fun.

Perez Hilton. Hozier. Celebrity Big Brother anybody? Savage was here to fill your celebrity needs.

And still the listeners were playing ball. Anton had clearly made them feel involved and all the sex talk was working. Everyone’s juices were flowing.

Not a bad start for the broadcaster.

A move back to more ethereal matters was probably called for – and that’s where Savage went. To the stars with a man who had named an asteroid after his mum.

Finally to Dermot and Dave as they got ready to take the reins from Anton. They’re funny and Savage was probably right to play it straight down the middle. You can have too many LOLs.

The lads did point up an issue, though. “There’s a struggling new show on Today FM that could do with a jingle…”

Anton Savage may still be hoping to find the right noise, but it wasn’t a bad start.

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan is an Irish Times journalist