Kilkenny native, Shane O’Keeffe, has been shortlisted for an 2023 IMRO Radio award, he was one of six in the running for the Sports Broadcaster of the Year (Local/Regional) category.
If you follow KCLR’s sports coverage on air you may be familiar with him as the ‘morning sports guy’ Wednesdays through Fridays on KCLR Breakfast with John Walsh and the 1pm News or perhaps you catch him on the sports programmes on the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays or you might see his byline on our sporting sister Scoreline platforms.
But did you know, he’s also part of Diceman Productions too?
And their feature film ‘The Hurler: A Campion’s Tale’ had a nationwide release with some well-known names.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Shane, the proud host of KCLR Scoreline which broadcasts on air between 2-6 every Saturday and Sunday. I have been working in radio on a professional basis since 2019. Recently I have been nominated for an IMRO in Sports Broadcasting
How did you end up working in the world of radio?
I saw that my local community station was looking for volunteers back in 2016, so I applied and was lucky enough to be granted my own show on Friday nights. From there I applied for the Radio broadcasting course held in conjunction with SETU Waterford and Beat 102 103 with lecturers Rob O’Connor and Orla Rapple. Due to my experience behind a desk, I had the opportunity to be brought in as a possible cover for a producer or desk driver for KCLR’s sports show Scoreline at the weekend. Then everything steamrolled from there. I just said yes to everything so I could learn, I worked in production for months, drove shows, and produced literally whatever was asked before receiving the KCLR Scoreline Sports show full-time in 2020.
What is a general day in the life of your role?
It is such a cliché thing to say, but my job changes day to day. The weekend show is the one constant, so a lot of the working week (which for me begins on a Wednesday) is catered towards having content for the upcoming shows. I am also generally responsible for the sporting output on the station for the days I am in, whether that is preparing & reading the sporting news, writing articles, and producing sponsored updates each day the show is not on. I also love digging through the archives of KCLR and finding some special sporting broadcasted on the station for use in various packages. Sometimes I delve into other aspects outside of sports, such as producing documentaries, doing voiceovers, and presenting various different shows whether that is KCLR Breakfast or a special type of one-off show.
What do you like the most about your job?
The fact I get to do this job, in my hometown, is mad. I love where I am from and that I live five minutes away from the station. I also enjoy collaborating with our head of sports Robbie Dowling. So I get to work with a friend and genuinely am buzzing when we are doing the show. People ask do I mind working every weekend? Not a chance.
What’s your hosting style?
I am involved in comedy, whether it be film or as host of Kilkenny Comedy Club, so I love improv. Not everything has to be funny of course, but I certainly enjoy the unpredictable and have an air of comfort in unknown spaces. Whether that is an interview with a guest that can end up in unexpected places or just riffing on air, I relish spontaneity and feel really relaxed in this space.
Do you have any funny stories that happened to you while hosting a show?
So, Halloween about three years ago I produced a comedy Halloween Special Show under the guise of a character I created called Baron Von Otto. So when the Baron introduced the show, the joke was that he did not really know how to use the desk. As a result of this the intro song “The Phantom of the Opera” would play intermittently throughout his opening dialogue. All went as planned however and the show went off without a hitch until the end. That was until the very end when it was time to say goodbye, Baron i.e., me played The Phantom of the Opera as an outro. The problem was this got legitimately stuck and get kept playing after the show was due to go off-air. So, Kilkenny and Carlow were receiving their news with the hint of Phantom of the Opera playing underneath it.
What makes KCLR different from other stations in your opinion?
As the sports guy, I love KCLR’s commitment to live sports. In 2023 we broadcast nearly 160 games live and in full across the country, and even following the Carlow footballers over the UK. Not only that we did extensive reports from games, with reporters keeping us updated on what was happening all over. I think two proud sporting counties need a station to match that enthusiasm and I like to think they have that in KCLR.
Why is local radio important in your opinion?
I regularly get a call from a gentleman who is visually impaired who rings up about his local team, and he regularly calls the sports desk telling us how valued the live match commentaries of his local team are. My mother was cutting my hair in her hairdresser, and I had a lady say she does not like sports but regularly tunes in as it is like having someone in the house with her. These are just small examples of situations I have experienced in the last week alone. There are thousands of people like this in many different areas of life who need local radio. Whether just to plug an event, get their song heard or hear a friendly voice from home like so many of our international listeners do. From a personal perspective, Local Radio has allowed me to live out my dream job while in my hometown, and I can never thank it enough.
Shane O’Keeffe | KCLR 96FM