“In terms of like local radio, and why local radio is important.. I think it’s important to give a voice to the people in your community.”
– Elaine Kinsella
We’re excited to share our second #OtherSideOfTheMic interview. #OtherSideOfTheMic is a must-listen series of interviews with our local radio presenters that allow us to learn more about the unique voices behind each station.
You can listen to Kerry’s Full Breakfast weekday mornings from 7 to 9am on Radio Kerry. A bright, fun and entertaining way to wake up. Andrew Morrissey and Elaine Kinsella, will give you everything you need to know to get your day off to a good start. News, Sport, Travel updates and of course great music. Play their Wheel of Anything each day or make sure you get someone a mention on the birthday book. Andrew and Elaine help Kerry get to work or school and are the perfect alarm clock each weekday morning.
Click below to listen to the interview or scroll down to read.
Tell us a bit about yourself.[Andrew] Hello, my name is Andrew Morrissey and I’m one half of Kerry’s Full Breakfast.
[Elaine] And I’m Elaine Kinsella, and I’m the other half of the show.
[Andrew] Our show goes out Monday to Friday seven to 9am, on Radio Kerry. And we also have a little side project of a Facebook Live video that we do as well, that kind of just integrates the radio and the social media side of our show. It’s something that away from the radio that we started a few years back, and people seem to like it. And we’ve just kept it up. And all it is like a mini version of some of the bits we’re going to discuss on our show.
How did you end up working in the world of radio?[Andrew] I’m on breakfast radio for eight and a half years now you’re on a lot longer than I am.
[Elaine] Yeah, add a decade to that I’m on Kerry’s Full Breakfast for 18 years, I think,
[Elaine] I know, I can’t believe it. And my getting into radio was rather accidental as well. So, I knew I wanted to work in media. And I’d studied communications. I wanted to work in film I wanted to write for film or I wanted to direct film. And when I say that I mean drama or TV drama. So, I never saw myself working in radio. It didn’t do the college radio thing I did when I was a child, record myself and pretend I was presenting a radio show. Yeah, but I tried out a lot of careers as a child. So, I didn’t really see radio as my career. So sometimes I feel a little bit guilty, telling people that that it was kind of an accidental thing. But I was working in media, I was out of work. I was living in Dublin. And my mom said Radio Kerry are looking for people. And I’m from Kerry. So, I kind of thought to myself, you know what this was I think May and I just said, a summer in Kerry, that’d be nice. 18 years later, I’m still here. Yeah, so I absolutely fell in love with radio. Day one I loved it. I really, really loved it. And I know for you, it was more of a dream from a much younger age.
[Andrew] Yeah, well, I had two options genuinely not even messing two options work in radio, which I always wanted to do or be a Garda. Those were the two things I wanted to do when I was younger. And they did cross over at one point. And I nearly became a Garda that but I kind of fell into it in the sense that I remember listening to a pirate radio station in Cork, because that’s where I’m from. And there was a guy on it and I knew him. I knew he was in my school, he was a couple years ahead of me. And so I asked him about it. And I made them a demo on a tape. And that was my first job in radio at 16 years of age, presenting this dance music show. I mean, think back now it was just dreadful. But that was like that, as soon as I sat down and went on air, and then ended up doing the whole college radio thing, loves that, and then got a job in Radio Kerry and started off as you know, doing afternoons before eventually moved to breakfast. And I do I’m a total nerd for the whole of a geek when it comes to the whole radio thing. But just before I moved here, I’d also applied for the Garda. And I’d been accepted. And I was about to do the whole going to Templemore thing when I got this job. Wow, I stuck with this. And I’m here since So, thankfully, thankfully, whatever works for you big time. So that’s how we ended up in the world of radio.
What is a general day in the life of your role?[Andrew] What’s the general day, like in our life and our radio roles as such? Well, there’s obviously there’s the on air element of it, we’re on air seven to nine every morning. Which by the way, I have to say it I’m not a morning person at all. But I love being the first person on air, you know, like you and I have had, you know, we’ve often made the joke off air like this, you know, we’re the ones who break the news with somebody who’s passed away overnight, like a big famous celebrity. But away from that it’s you know, being the first person only the first voice people hear in their kitchen in the morning, like kind of like that.
[Elaine] Yeah, I’m the same as you. If I could pick anywhere on the radio scheduled to be I would pick breakfast radio, I probably am a morning person more than you I would say I don’t know if that’s just because I’ve trained myself to be a morning person at this stage. But I’m like you I love being first on air. I think there’s something really exciting about it. We love coming in when the building is kind of dark, and we switch on the lights and we switch out you know, I just I like that idea of being the first step there.
[Elaine] A typical day for us. So as Andrew said, like, we have to kind of obviously get up to speed with what’s going on what’s happened in the world overnight. So if there’s some big news story from the other side of the world, your art within Ireland, whatever it is, you need to kind of just be up to speed on what’s going on. We also as Andrew said, we go live and on Facebook at about a quarter to seven or so, so we kind of have to be ready for that. And then we’ve got our live show. And then after that Andrew and I have a lot of responsibilities outside of our show. So I’m the Head of Music. So, I do all the music playlisting. I deal with artists, record labels, and just kind of putting together the playlists and the music and the sound for the station for the day. So that kind of keeps me really busy outside of the show anyway, and Andrew is busy doing lots of other very, very important bits for the station too.
[Andrew] Yeah, well. I’m the Programme Coordinator outside of our job on air. And my job basically is to plan and that means that if somebody is off, I need to make sure that there’s cover for that. And then it’s dealing with staff and different people that Elaine and I will kind of work with on a day to day basis in a more in-depth way. And that just goes on and like Elaine and that takes up and occupies a lot of our day outside of the show. And then we obviously when it comes to the underside of it, we’re always looking to do something not always something new. But just keep an eye is there something we can do new on air. So, between the two was broken. We’re always on the lookout for something like that.
What do you like the most about your job?[Andrew] What do we like most about our job? Probably what we just said about being the first on air. I just love that. You know, as I said, the whole thing about being the first voice in someone’s kitchen or whatever, the morning or the car or whatever.
[Elaine] Yeah, I like yeah, I love that. I love the sense that you’re part of somebody’s routine. Yeah. And so we like, obviously, you feel that in the interaction you get from listeners, but also when you’re out and about and you meet people, and they come up to you like as if they absolutely know you, because they feel like they do absolutely know you because we’re very much ourselves on the show, like we are very natural and very honest, I think about who we are and our personalities come across so, so when you meet people, then they genuinely know you, you know. And I do like that, I like that you’re part of somebody’s routine. And I like that when people say things to us, like, I know that if I pass such and such a petrol station in the mornings, at you know, I know what time it is, you know what I mean? Because they’re their routine everyday, they know their late, if such and such happens. So I like that I like being part of people’s routine in the morning. And I think you and me as well, we take that very seriously as being you know, part of somebody’s routine, which could be just a fun sort of a thing like the radio on the music on while they’re getting the kids breakfast ready, and they’re just having a bit of craic, but also that you’re accompany to people. And it could be somebody living alone, or it could be they might be living alone, but that you are company to them and a friend to them. And I think we’re very conscious of that when we’re on air. And it is a responsibility, I think as well, you know, to keep in mind that those people are listening to you.
What’s your hosting style?[Andrew] And that’s what our hosting style is. I mean, we’re both very natural in the sense that you like what you hear is what you get. And that says people know us they know our personalities, they know things that are going on in our private lives and our and our professional lives. And I think that’s kind of partly because, you know, you want to share yourself, I may not share everything, not here’s my PIN code from my bank account. Yeah. But at the same time you do you know, you want to relate to people. And so we’re not robotic. We’re very relaxed. And we’re very natural that that’s probably our general style, I would say. And exactly as you said, people do feel like that they genuinely know us. And they’ve often said that to us, or, you know, somebody would say, Oh, I thought what you said they’re such and such a morning was gas. And we have no memory whatsoever. Yeah, exactly at the same time. And it obviously had an impact on them that they remembered.
[Elaine] Yeah. And we don’t remember it because it wasn’t pre rehearsed or whatever. It’s literally us having a chat so and that’s why I like too Andrew, I like cohosting a show, I think because now I do like presenting my own. But I definitely prefer presenting a show with somebody. It allows you to be more natural, it allows you to open up more about yourself. And I think people really enjoy when we’re really honest about being crap at things or failing at things, which we do. And we go through the same trials and tribulations in life that everybody else does. And I always think we’re very honest about that. And I think it’s an important part of our show, is that the people who listen to us do know us.
[Andrew] Yeah, they feel like they can they can say stuff to us.
[Elaine] Yeah, they do. They can open up to us. That’s nice.
Do you have any funny stories that happened to you while hosting a show?[Andrew] I have one a couple of years ago, it actually happened on breakfast I was I was filling in on weekend breakfast here. And the show that was coming on directly after me they had a big planned out show that day, there was a lot of guests coming in for whatever was going on. I can’t remember what the topics were. But then it’s more of a speech based program. So, there was people coming and going that morning really early in the building much more than that would ever be. And at about 20 past seven in the morning, I was on air when this guy just burst in the door and started saying, “Hey, I’m looking for such and such” and I was like, I take an ad break. And I had to just kind of like pass it I remember gonna read red in the face. But you know, as we were working radio, there’s a big red light outside the door that showed do not enter. Yeah. And I just said oh, yeah, no, he he’s next door there were with other people. I was like, I’m actually on air. So just beware. And he looked we’re gonna go on. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Not 10 minutes later, I’m again talking about something else on the radio, whatever I was doing mid link and the door opens again, same fella. Hi. Um, look for the canteen, the kitchen, and I was like, Oh, you poor thing, he’s not getting this at all. This was all going out radio. So it’s not like I could just kind of delete this and edit it up after afterwards. So yeah, that happened a couple of times. Or you know, as you know, working in a radio studio. We’re like a fishbowl with all these windows surrounding us. So when people walk past, like if it’s a guest for a show, or whatever, and they just find themselves staring in. So you might wave at them. And then they’re kind of they can see me the kind of panic and that’s quite funny. I don’t think about anything else that happened on here that I can think of off the top of my head.
[Elaine] I can’t think of anything particularly funny but if you’re asking me about highlights, I suppose or things that really stand out for me. I, like everybody working in radio, get to interview lots of interesting people and famous people and people who’ve undertaken interesting things in their life. But I got to interview Big Bird once, which was pretty cool.
[Andrew] You were telling me that yeah.
[Elaine] It was before you were on the breakfast show with me. And I got it, so was Carl Spinney, the actor who played Big Bird and Oscar as well, I think from Sesame Street, set this up through one of my friends who’s a family friend of his, and he actually since passed away, sadly, but he used to holiday in Ireland, I have to say, out of all the interviews and all the things I’ve done, it absolutely sticks in my memory. Just being iconic. As in, he answered the phone as Big Bird. And I mean, obviously, I’m of an age where I grew up at Sesame Street. And Oscar came in for part of the interview. And like, it really stands out in my memory is just this day when I just kind of thought, Wow, I love my job. Yeah, this is pretty cool.
[Andrew] That is pretty cool. But it’s funny, because I know that you and I and you alone have interviewed some of the most famous people in the world. And that’s the one that stands out!
[Elaine] That stands out for me. And I really enjoy the kids that we have on around Christmas time in particular. Yeah. And we used to do a feature we might bring it back. Actually, we used to have Mrs. Claus on the show..
[Andrew] No, she’s not available. She said it to me.
[Elaine] But we, so one of the other shows on our schedule has Santa Claus, I was going to say Mr. Claus! So we have Mrs. We had Mrs. Claus a few years and the children, the innocence of it all. Oh, I love that. I think that’s another thing I absolutely love. I love Christmas and the build up to Christmas on radio anyway. Yeah, with kids. And then I also on the flip side of that I quite enjoy interviewing very elderly listeners about things like Christmas, or their memories of Christmas and things like that. So yeah, and I think that’s kind of what we enjoy about radio as well is that you are giving a voice to people to who maybe we don’t normally hear from or whatever. So I like listening to somebody maybe who’s in their 90s talking about Christmas when they were kids, you know, I mean? So it’s we do you know, we might visit nursing homes or something like that. So they’d some of the kind of standout things and all the pop stars and the musicians and all the rest are super interesting and everything. But it’s the quirkier, more human things that kind of make it..
[Andrew] It’s the normal process. Yes, isn’t it?
[Elaine] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
What makes Radio Kerry different from other stations in your opinion?[Andrew] And I think that’s what makes Radio Kerry different from other stations, in my opinion, anyway, is that as a Cork man moving to Kerry, obviously a huge Cork-Kerry rivalry with sport and everything else. I think there’s a different humour about somebody who’s from Kerry. And I find that Radio Kerry reflects that. And even if, if like me, you’re not from the county, but you’re no, you know, life is now here. I think that’s it’s the same for that person. So if you’re a Dublin person living in Kerry or from Limerick, or wherever, you kind of just fall into the life of a Kerry person. And I think radio Kerry reflects that. You know, we have real, proper local clients who are very loyal, but we’ve also got proper local listeners who are as loyal as anybody will ever come across. And, you know, they use the term salt of the earth, whatever, but they really are. And that part of our job in the morning times is to is to try and connect with our audience. And I think we do that because we kind of get the humour, we get the we get the vibe, we get how life is in Kerry. And I think that’s probably what makes us stand out from other. I mean, obviously, other local stations will say the same with their region. But there’s just something different about being in Kerry. Yeah, all year round.
[Elaine] And I do find it interesting, too, that people who’ve moved from other countries to live in Kerry. Love Radio, Kerry. Yeah. So they, you know, because they live here, and they’re like, you know, they’re integrating into society. And they’re like, you know, we’re you know, where’s everyone, where are the kids going to school? What football, hurling, soccer club are we going to join? What station, what radio station are people listening to? They plug into Radio Kerry too then. Yeah, I mean, so I do when I’m out and about, I meet, a lot of people who’ve moved to Kerry, and who are big Radio Kerry listeners, which is fantastic.
Why is local radio important in your opinion?[Elaine] In terms of like local radio, and why local radio is important. I think it’s important to give a voice to the people in your community, whether that’s kind of political issues, or human kind of interest stories, or whatever it is, I think we very much are living amongst the listeners and knowing exactly what’s going on like finger on the pulse kind of stuff of what’s happening in your community. And I think that’s what’s so important about local radio, is to just give a voice to all of those things happening in your community.
[Andrew] Yeah, I have to echo that. Because at the end of the day, you know, without proper local debate on whether it is, as you said, politically says even something down as far as what’s your favourite chocolate, that can be divisive, but I think I think there’s a very unique perspective from somebody who lives in Kerry, not necessarily a person who’s born and bred from Kerry, but as you said, somebody who’s moved to the county as well. There’s a very unique perspective because life is different when you live in Kerry, and I absolutely I echo that.
Andrew Morrissey and Elaine Kinsella, Kerry’s Full Breakfast hosts, Radio Kerry
Andrew Morrissey is a Cork man marooned in Kerry for over 15years now. He is one half of Kerry’s Full Breakfast. Working in Radio for almost 20years. Music radio being his mainstay, he also work’s as Sports presenter and Hurling commentator. Off air Andrew is Radio Kerry’s Programme Coordinator and helps in the day to day running of the on air schedule.
Away from Radio, an accomplished Club DJ, he also plays Hurling and Football for Tralee Parnells and Austin Stacks GAA clubs respectively.
Married to Úna with their Yorkie Bailey, Andrew is an avid sports fan and TV boxset watcher.
Elaine Kinsella is Radio Kerry’s Head of Music and has presented Kerry’s Full Breakfast since 2004. The show, which she currently co-hosts with Andrew Morrissey, consistently holds its position as the most listened to breakfast show in Kerry. Elaine is a regular panellist on RTE television’s Today show and has presented the programme on a number of occasions. Elaine works as a voice-over artist and event MC.
A proud Listowel native, she has written a number of radio plays and has won one PPI Award and been nominated for another in the Best Drama category.
Elaine has a daughter, a cat and a degree in Communications from Dublin Institute of Technology and she worked in film, financial news and animation before taking up a position with Radio Kerry.