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The Brendan O'Connor Show on TV, Radio One with all care pharmacy discover a team that's always here to support you at all care, taking care of communities across Ireland.


And I'm delighted to be joined now by broadcaster Mark Carney. And he has a story to tell, as you might do Mark.


You're very welcome. Cheers, Brendan. Nice to see you again. And it was being in here. I kind of yearn for you. Have you been back here much?


No, not very much. I came back to do a documentary for the, you know, a little bit of series. But I was just talking the first time I was in this building. I was in studio was is this six is it six or five?


So, yeah, I was filling in for Mike Murphy on Morning Call in 1977 was my first break on national radio.


And then about two months later, I was back up and I was filling in for Gay Byrne on the gay burner, which was the big kahuna, I can tell you.


Yeah. So and then of course, the two of them started then about a year later. So, yeah, we come back the to our FROM because they do want to talk to you about that.


But in the immediate and the reason you're your agreed to come in today is that you've had a kind of an extraordinary time of it. So it's in a way like a Johnny Cash song or country song. You went out to buy noodles in January and you know, you didn't come back. You had a stroke in in the supermarket. I did.


Well, you know, we know anything for an audience Friday afternoon packed.


Listen, it's it's bizarre. I went up to I live in Southern Park, which for those of you in the north side of Dublin, is not a million miles away from Southern Cross. And there's a big supermarket there. It was frequence headquarters for donkeys years. Supercut, I know SUPERVALU will hate me for saying that, but anybody who lives in the area I was still called it that went up to get a few messages for the dinner on Friday evening, another day.


And Lockton won't repost until if he had said to me, there's only a few small bits and pieces. My daughter said, Oh, somebody give me some of these types of noodles.


There's a there's an intersection. As you go up towards Sutent, which you take a left, you go down to Baladi Port Minako all of that way.


And I stopped there, started to feel funny. There was something and I started in my head like a swarm of bees, like tinnitus actually in retrospect, which is like what the hell's going on? And then I couldn't notice. I couldn't judge the distance between where I was at the intersection and the car in front of me, in other words, was OK to go through the junction. Yeah. Like, what the hell's going on here anyway. Kind of a beat.


It moved on, got up to the supermarket, SUPERVALU and Super and Southern Cross parked the car, knew straightaway, by the way, had parked the car that there was something wrong. I just it was just, oh, what the hell am I doing here? I got out of the car sort and it was really odd. I thought, Jesus, people think I'm drunk. You know, the first instinct is what's wrong with you anyway? So after that, I went in, went over to the supermarket, was a queue.


And again, you know, with the decision on the ground for social distancing for the very first time in all of this, I actually had to look at those to judge was I too far away or too close to the person in front of me? And again, the thought was, what's going on here when and took a left, picked up the basket and then proceeded to knock things off shelves. And this is really odd. This is like, what the hell is going on here?


Like, again, the thought people will think you were drunk, OK, moved on from the shelf. I was looking for the noodles in there, weren't there? And my glasses with me. And I thought, oh God, what a day. You know, you gotta ask for some help. The guards had. No, actually, they're not there. I'll go and check out the back to and Sarah came back and she said, no, we don't have them, but we will have them tomorrow.


I said, thank you very much. Trying to walk away. And the room did a 360 back down. And apparently I didn't topple or fall. I went straight down on my knees, just sexpots spots by fixing as well as leaning over me saying, Sir, sir, sir, are you alright? Are you feeling chest pains? Excuse me? I said, No, no, no. This is not my chest. I'm telling you, there's something in my head not putting two and two together.


I had no idea and didn't for quite some time. He said, Are you sure? I said, Look, I know the heart attack protocols. It's not that I don't know what the hell it is. Is there somebody we can get for you? Yeah, you can ring my daughter. She'll come and get me. She's only down the road. So if he came, she got an awful fright.


Obviously, she brought me home. I went into my man cave, lay down and I thought I nodded off again. Next thing she's leaning over me going, Dad, Dad, Daddy.


All right. I said, No, I'm fine.


I just dozed off. She said, No, you didn't. You went again. And if you'd been standing up, you would have fallen out. Oh, right. OK. And my son came in and he started talking about stroke. This days they're ringing. Doctors are ringing their mother and older sister, Rita, her future son in law, who she's very proud, is a registrar in James that she rang him on and he said, don't wait for doctors, don't wait for him.


Get him into Beaumont, put him in the car, bring him to Beaumont. And then the journey began.


OK, no, I haven't taken a breath in about two minutes. OK, you ask questions.


So so how then and when did you find out what had happened, when you heard the word stroke, when your son wasn't sure what he was doing, the whole he was looking for the fast things, you know?


Yeah. And there was no sign of any of that. OK, so you don't seem like you were unduly worried up to then. The only thing I was worried about was going to vomit.


The last thing I wanted to do was go into hospital because of it, you know, and now there were brilliant, you know, it's Friday evening, E.D. Any involvement? You kind of think I could be there for two days before anybody saw me or I got through. And I don't mean that disparagingly, but, you know, all this horror stories, I was triaged in three hours and I was actually in a bed by I was on a chair and three in a ward and then I was in a bed in six hours.


A whole lot of they thought it was minibars or something, which is a disease I didn't know anything about. But apparently it affects your inner balance and causes you to fall. Yeah.


Anyway, they did some CT scans and the following morning they said we found a clot. You've had a pulmonary embolism, which is a clot in your Long Island. Right, OK. Now, I had had pneumonia a couple of years back. And, you know, I will get one really bad chest infection a year, real doozy. And it will knock me out for three, five days. So it didn't look like I was obviously shocked, but it didn't surprise me.


Yeah, but the dispatcher said he said, however, that doesn't tally with the symptoms that you describe to us. So I'm going to order a brain scan MRI because there's something going on here that we're not sure of. So they did that and then they came back and they said, well, actually, you've had an acute racemic stroke. You've had a clot in the lower right hand side at the back of your head. Thankfully, small clot in a big vessel.


Here's where I started to get where he said it was the other way around.


We wouldn't be having this conversation. So. And you're feeling reasonably OK.


Fraud, Brendan, in the name of God am I doing here? And I'm looking around this acute stroke part at this stage and I'm thinking these are a range of the scenarios that I associate with stroke.


I have one and I presume look like me. All of us at a stroke for you probably was something that happened to someone else or happened to an older fella or whatever.


So it must be like a big shocker to you that it was very, very funny when we got through the other end of it.


And they're talking about the recovery process. You know, here's the kinds of things you should be doing in recovery.


I looked at the list and I went, that's I've been doing that for 30 years. I live like a monk for the last thirty years. Don't drink, don't smoke, eat well, exercise three to four times a week, heart, you know, like it was the discipline that kind of.


Yeah. And your blood pressure under control and everything. Everything.


I mean I get regular multis, no problems. So like of all of the things that was going to get me or would get me, that was the last thing I would have expected. No, no. By the way, I like my brother had one but two to two and a half years ago and I had a few friends who've been through it. Yeah. So it's not that I'm unfamiliar with it. I just didn't think, you know, honestly, I always thought, no, I don't want I'm not even going to say that.




But I thought maybe would be something else would get me never that were coming to you two weeks in a stroke unit then. And I know you're the kind of guy who thinks too much anyway.


Oh. So like, yeah, I can only imagine where the head was going.


There was a lot of there were several. There were several very long, dark night of the soul. Some were related to this time of year because, as you know, with my history, my first wife died there. And it was interesting.


I was in that war going over this place, very familiar to me, actually. They're all the same. Looks like Lego.


I remember the first time I was low dose of it and I went out. And I looked left and there was a nurse's station, nurse's station, and I looked right and I saw two red signs, Richmond ICU, and that's where she was OK.


Two years ago this month. Yeah. And also did and collapsed. Also shopping.


She was in Brown Thomas having coffee with her friend Declan Cochrane, and she had a brain haemorrhage, a catastrophic one. So there was there was I remember looking at that and thinking, oh God, I remember back to bed. And that night I was going, this is this is this the circle now? Is this you know, this is where it ends.


Am I ever get a note here?


Now, look, as you said, think too much and an overactive imagination.


So but like all this much love goes through your head, Brendan, because, you know, I've been incredibly lucky. Look, I've no physical no loss of power in any of my extremities, no paralysis, no cognitive damage that anybody can well know that wasn't there before.


Yeah, I know I shouldn't be making jokes about this, but you're from you're a lawyer and you and you can own your own.


Yeah, exactly. But, you know, so I've been incredibly lucky. I lost my train of thought there. And so what was the question? Do you know what do you know what the question is, though, that actually do you know the way sometimes you see guys who who get a turn and afterwards I sometimes think they have that slight fear in their eyes after it changes them.


Say you were talking about the dark night of the soul there.


Well, there was there was the one about my own personal situation out here I am. And oh, dear God, there's a kind of a synchronicity about this that is, you know, way too scary. But in terms of there was a guy and I've talked about this already, there was a guy across from me, a lovely guy, young man, three kids. He was in his early thirties and he had a bad one. Now, thankfully, we heard from his wife, actually, my wife heard from his wife on Facebook that he's in Dolorean.


He's doing really, really well.


But he not on the right hand side was working. And I got talking to we, you know, talked about football and this and the other. We just were having chats and he but he's from a growth area of the country. So he thinks Breathes sleeps in Irish first translates afterwards. It's it's in his DNA. It's his bones, it's his identity.


And he told me that of all of the weird things at the stroke, I don't know, taking his Irish, which, by the way, I believe he's getting back as well. But it took his Irish and it was at that stage, I kind of went on a second here. This isn't about, you know, one side of your body not working or whatever.


This is about your identity. This can do this. It can go so deeply into your DNA that it can do that to you. And at that stage, you began to think, hang on a second. Now, just, you know, I feel great and I think I'll be fine. Sure. I'll be back in the saddle in two or three weeks time or a month or whatever. But this could be. This might not end soon or easily.


Yeah, so that worried me, that frightened me. And presumably your identity is also fairly wrapped up in being a great talker, unable to talk under pressure and, you know, broadcasting and all that.


And like you, I'm broadcasting is a confidence trick, essentially. So you must have been thinking, OK, if I lose that well.


I had a great have a great stroke nurse called Sarah Jane Byrne, and she and I didn't hit it off right from the start because she's incredibly optimistic and upbeat and sometimes I don't do well with that. But she's doing her job and she was brilliant.


And we'd have a few tetchy encounters and I'd be a bit cranky. And I was freaked out. I was going, who am I going to be? Who can I be? Paul will ever be, me will will ever get back to being me. Will people ever think of me like that again? Will anybody ever hire me again? You know, I've had a brain injury. Will people think I'm brain damaged, my brain damaged? I don't know.


I'd say I'm fine, but then I would, wouldn't I? Anyway, around the fourth or fifth visit, she said, look, I don't know. I don't know a lot about you, but I went to that are checking. And it seems to me, from what I know of, you know, you're a high functioning individual and what you know that she said. But people like you need a purpose and your purpose is what you do, what you do.


It's not what you do. It's what you are. And if you don't have that, you're in trouble. So you need to get back in the saddle as fast as you possibly can. And the sooner you do that, the quicker your recovery will go. And it's the single best piece of clinical stroke medical advice I have got. I personally have got. Yeah. About how to deal with this. And so I went, right, OK, how do I do this?


How do I go about it? How do I get people to give me the chance to show that I can still do what they would expect me to be to, to do, to be able to do it to the level that they would expect to be able to do it to the level that I would expect it.


So, you know, being here this morning, for example, I'm delighted. I'm always glad to talk to you. You know that, right? But this is recovery therapy.


It's public recovery therapy for me, because if I can come in here and I can hold my own with you in this arena and this environment, it means it's not gone. I the module is still there and it's only a matter of just working at it to get it back. And OK, that's my situation right now. But everybody who has a stroke, pretty much 90 percent of the people who have them will go through this, will go through some form of PTSD, anxiety and really deep psychological problems and issues about their identity, about who they are, postdoc, who they can be, what it has robbed them of.


Yeah. And where you are with all that now, I don't know. It's work in progress, Brendan. I'm already starting on it.


I'm just each time I do something like this, I go, OK with that. Most of that synopsise working.


That bit is going, yeah, I can do that. So if I can do that, OK, I'll do the next bit. And eventually as people. This is risky stuff. Brendan, you get that right.


This is really risky stuff because if it goes wrong, people go, oh God, God love them.


Oh yeah. And phone never ring again. Yeah.


But if it, if it works then great.


Like I'm love. I mean this to sound pathetic, right. I'm kind of fighting for my life here. This is what this is about, you know, and like everybody else who's gone through this as well.


Yeah. And I think you had a taste of it after you left Ireland and after twenty years in jail, suddenly the phone rings.


I mean, well, look, I was going back to radio and making my way back in and then laughter. So I'm in the gig economy now and every musician, actor, anybody in that economy that you know, hasn't we haven't worked for a year because there is no work. You can't go anywhere. What do you do. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, it's I don't mean this, this isn't look something like this happens to you and you can go on or you can go under.


I'm not built to go under. I'm just not doing that. Yeah.


And if I can, if I can do that and say that and say look, I'm scared, I won't say the word, but you know the word I'm scared less because of what happened. And I don't know what the future is going to be, but I'm not going without a fight. And if I can do it, you can don't give up Dom Spiro's barrel while you breathe. You hope. Yeah.


And of course, you are used to the precarious existence I broadcast.


I get all of that. The funny thing is I was reading there that you grew up in a kind of maybe a different environment, Israel to a lot of people your age. And your dad was kind of in the gig economy was the kind of bohemian. Well, he did loads of different things, right? He was he was qualified electronics.


He also went and got his papers as a mechanic and as a welder because he was a kind of a polyglot, like it was the smartest, brightest people I knew in that sense and really should have been locked away in a laboratory somewhere or playing music either, which, yeah, he came from a very bohemian existence as well.


So it was a very loose, very free kind of democratic and benign before know it was a kind of a he was a benign despot, but it was it was democratic in the sense that you were encouraged to to think for yourself. You were encouraged to speak for yourself. You're also told to shut up when when it diverts from the party like it was it was it was a very interesting open household.


No, unfortunately, my father and I were very alike. So young steak or steak, boom, boom, boom.


Yeah. Because you because you left then when you were quite young, didn't you take some time before I was sixteen I left on. Christmas Eve, 26, I was 16 in September, I left on Christmas Eve that year, maximum effect, of course, ruined Christmas being the pope that I was make a point, you know. Yeah, grand exit.


But it had got it got to the point where I was just I had left a couple times before that. I just wasn't working out. He had plans, but my life was mapped out. I was I was going to do the opposite of all the things that he did. I wasn't going to be a musician. I was going to be an actor. I was going to go to college. I was going to get a degree. And then when when all that was done, my life was back, I could make my own decisions, that it was all mapped out for me.


And I'm going. No, thank you. Not interested, I want to be in bands or around them or in music or I know I'm not academic, I'm actually I'm not bad with research.


I can read and learn, but no, no, it just wasn't me. It just I'm not built like that. Yeah.


Funny that he wanted you to basically rebel against his way of life by going straight and. Yeah. And you leafcutter that parents do and and did.


Was, was there a rift then.


Yeah. Huge rift and one that was never satisfactorily as parents. Look, my parents were really lovely people and you ask any of my brothers and sisters, there's four sisters and three brothers and they will all have great stories and and great love and affection for my parents and all the things they did. Like I was the black sheep. It just look, you're the eldest, you're the experiment. And everybody thinks that, you know, parents should there they're learning on the job, too.


Sometimes it doesn't always go well.


There were brilliant grandparents, by the way, and there was a rapprochement later on. There are there were areas that were you know, we just didn't go there because it would I mean, I do remember this is terrible.


My brother wrote this for me at one stage after one of the rapprochements I went to, I lived off the top of Patric's hill, which, you know. Right. So we walked or went in and I went ahead and was with me until I was married to an Italian.


And she she she was struggling with her. Right. So I actually went into the house about two or three minutes ahead of her.


She was kind of taking our time. And I went in and I had I was in there long enough to have a row with one of my parents. I won't say which one and to go, right, that's it. I turned my heel and walk over.


She was going up to the door and I went, Right, we're going. She went, What?


It was my it was. But it was that stupas, you know. You know what family is like. Brendan Yeah. I mean, there were brilliant, brilliant people.


I was pop, I was an absolute pop, but I had something in me that, you know, like I wasn't going under.


Yeah. And you and you found your way. And look, I'll tell you, a lot of the people texting and were great affection are texting in about remembering. You are very formative time in their lives when you were on to fame. And like I obviously remember well, you did like the original tour from Jersey were like rock stars in Ireland.


And Gerry and I, we were you. Here's the funny thing, right? We were the also rans. The people who ran daytime too often viewed us as being we were pirates.


You know, we were I don't know what they were.


I don't they didn't view it very well, as I say that. And really the attitude to us was and just bear in mind, I don't know what is art is like. No, but it was very much a branch of the civil service or public service back then. So five o'clock at shot, we were let loose in here. And really the rule was, listen, don't break the furniture, leave the place in some kind of order. Right, for the real people.


The following morning, what happened, of course, was this is that we were of an cockneys outcast island was changing culturally and we represented that change. We were there, you know, spies in here.


We were that. Yeah, the guys who got behind the wire, so to speak.


And we we see kids now realise that there was no access to there was no access to music back then, the way there is now and everything. So like you were the guys you can always conduct.


I know Dave, Dave, Dave and I particularly would have been record collectors very not so much, although he had a decent collection. But we were avid, we were anorak, and we came in here and we discovered that the greatest popular stroke rock music library in the country was in this building. They had everything going back to the very all of the record companies would send them this stuff like magical stuff, things that collectors would pay. They'd give you an arm and a leg for.


And they were in the library here. There was no outlet for it. But I remember being in here one day. There was a very famous record.


It's actually a piece of cake. It's called Enigma to by Iron Butterfly, but it has this mythic status about being one of the great one of the very first heavy metal records. And I read about this record and, you know, Melody Maker Enemy. I like all the avenues of access to information that we had back then, and even Dave had never heard it.


He didn't have a copy of it. And I'm rifling through the library here one day and I come across a pristine copy of Enigma divided by our own bottom line of it. Oh, my God. Into one of the booths. Put it on. I went nuts.


Choice. Sorry, I know this is my first. So sorry. And then of course you went on the road as well.


I remember the beats in the street in Larkspur Valley and I'm like, yeah, twelve fifty.


There are fifteen thousand people, maybe nearly 20000 people on the call Cainkar. I mean the ones in Stephen's green were legendary and we were, we were treated like gods and we thought we were, you know.


But yeah, we were young and we were, we were having a ball.


We were living the dream. We had access to the country's biggest jukebox. We had access to the airwaves. And we were representing our people in here playing the kind of music that we loved in the way that we loved for the people out there. That we knew loved it as well as funding actually has the best take on it. He said, We got incredibly lucky we were in the right place at the right time. But I'll add one caveat to that.


And we were the right people.


Yeah, it was, you know, like a really good band you get. How do you how do you how do you analyse the chemistry? You don't you just get lucky with it. Yeah. And I think everybody got lucky.


And I'm here for you yourself. I don't talk about anybody else. I did a bit of access then creep into that. Yeah, of course it did.


We were young and we were foolish and we were having a great time. And we did what young foolish people who are having a great time do. We indulge and partook in things that came our way. Do I recommend it? Absolutely not. Do I condone it? Absolutely not.


But that's what we did.


You know, that generation say we are speaking for yourself and your father and the father and each generation has to put its hand in the fire and point out it burns for itself.


I stuck my hand in the fire plenty of times. I found out I grew up. I cut myself on and thankfully, I'm able to pass it on to my own kids who haven't repeated any of my mistakes like that I know of.


And I presume then.


So you're and died. So that's 30 years ago. So how old were you at that stage?


I was thirty four going. Yeah.


So, young man, your wife dies.


I presume you grow up and cop on and all the rest of it very quickly when something like well I've talked to you about this like it was there's this is grown up stuff. Right. And it devastated me. I it's still the single I mean my kids obviously are the most joyous thing about the single most defining thing in my life.


So it was kind of before that happened. And there was after it did teach me an awful lot of stuff. It got my priorities right about what's important material stuff.


And I was doing really, really well at the time. I was working for Dennis O'Brien. I was doing voice overs. I couldn't fit them in. I had two great jobs, a lot of money, very, you know, very, very, very comfortable.


And I had was in a hurry to acquire all of that because I would because I had somebody I wanted to do it for and I wanted to give them a great life. I want to just have a great life. And lesson number one.


Don't. Don't ignore the not ignore, but don't forget the people that you're doing this for while you're doing it, because what you're busy doing, that something happens to them too late. And that stuff that you've accumulated excuse me, where they sit there staring at you afterwards, going not much use to, you know, Ally and would you could give all of it and 10 times that amount and you can't get them back. So it's stuff doesn't matter.


People matter. So I was lesson number one, you know, when I was a materialistic little. Yeah. At the time, you know, it was the 80s and 90s, you know, that was that that was acceptable. The other thing was for the people that you love and that you care about. Make sure that they know it now and of course, they do. Just remind them just every now and again you go. You do know all of it.


You do know how you know that really. That's your other matter.


I do this with my kids. You didn't do it. No, no, no, no, no, no.


This is the thing that not the lesson. The great lesson and the thing that saved me from despair and destruction in the end was that she knew exactly how I felt about her. Exactly. There was nothing on said we'd been to the to the abyss too many times. So it was always a possibility. She had a very complicated medical history. Nothing was left unsaid. And I was the only thing that saved me because she I there was nothing left unsaid.


There was no what ifs. She knew exactly how I felt about her. I knew exactly how she felt about me. No, I went mad. I went absolutely mad for six months and mad. Mad how mad everywhere I went back to some more bad habits.


I did everything I possibly could, I suppose. And I tried to check out but, you know, didn't have the.


I want to be very careful here because this is a very, very touchy subject and very sensitive subject for a lot of people. Right. I didn't care. I stopped. I didn't have a I didn't have a reason to get up in the morning. I didn't have a reason to go to work. I don't have a reason to go on. I don't just go. And what's the point? No, I didn't act on any of it. But I you know, anyway, whatever I'm I'm acutely aware that there are people who have been in the situation.


It didn't end up so well. How close? I don't know. I can't tell you. Right. But I gave up. I gave up because I didn't see any point and I didn't have anybody to do it for. And it was very angry because I thought of all of the people that this should happen to now and it shouldn't happen to her. Yeah, it's very complex and I'm still I know this is really difficult territory for me because I've had another life.


I have been incredibly blessed. I've had another life afterwards. Yeah.


And Audrey came into your life? Well, she was soon after you. She was really saver's. You know, she she she said, you know, to use the old fashioned thing, you better get better get busy living or get busy dying. You know, you'll want to run with it with a cut finger and you put a plaster on. Do you think it's going to be all right? It won't make you need to deal with this.


So that's interesting what you say there. That is difficult territory because you had another life. Is there an element of guilt?


Oh, yeah, of course. Yes, of course. It's still.


Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I mean, I, I lost friends over the Second Life because it was like, oh you know. Didn't take somebody actually said to me, didn't take you long, did it? How do you deal with that? How do you answer that part? I mean, you want to punch them in the face for it, but you kind of go with it, right? Yeah, but listen, here's the thing.


And this is something I learnt with the stroke as well. With these huge things, things happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason it isn't apparent. But what you do is. Excuse me. You look at it, you don't look you don't get screwed up and messed up about what you've lost, you'll be thankful for what you had. And for what you've left, what you're left with, so you take the lessons of all of that and then you put them to some use, so.


Right, that happened. It was awful. It was wonderful. I had 16 great years that a lot of people don't have. Be grateful for that. Yes, it was awful. Yes, I lost it, but she taught me so much for me and maybe the man I was. And then that night went on to meet somebody else and have four really, really cool kids. Good kids. Good girl. Yeah. That that I'm proud of and I think are proud of their father.


So that was the next step. I wish I didn't have to go through the first one, but that's where I am. Yeah.


And you were lucky to get that second chance. And but OK, I don't I don't want some kind of tree here or anything is and still there for you all the time in a sense.


I there's I have you know, it's funny. I was asked by your researcher about do I pray I don't pray to a God in the accepted sense. I talk to people who've been in my life who I know cared for me. She's one my my Aunt Mary, who kind of rescued me from when I was 16. Also my parents still because, you know, they have to it's part of their job.


And there's there's a couple of people that I have that I you know what?


I'm you know, when you're in you're lying in bed at night and you're kind of, you know, terrified and wondering what what's what's next and you're looking for help. There are people like I got a message from one of those the other night, actually, the lady who was like my host mother in in 98 when a woman called Peggy O'Brien, Betty O'Brien, and around the time after and died, she would see I was in a bad way and she'd come in and the sort of the magical words, would I make a competition?


And I said, Yes, please, Peggy. And she'd make the cup of tea. And then she'd come in and then I'd get the hog with it. And the world seemed a lot better. And I heard from her son Rocky the other night, and it was, ah, it was glorious because, you know, when you're doing these these things, sometimes you wonder, should I be doing this?


Should I be taking this risk? And I don't know, I just I'm throwing it out there and I'm hoping that the universe will catch me.


And I was thinking about this and whether I should actually be doing this and whether I'm doing more damage or more harm than I'm doing. Good.


And I got that message from Rocky O'Brien and I went, That's Peggy, God bless you all. And I went because she you know, she she picked me up and said me before. And I kind of felt right now this people I'm sure there's people at home going, this is a pile of mumbo jumbo.


I don't you know, so I think we all have our own little different ways of seeing the universe and stuff. And yeah. So yeah. And I'm like, so you've thrown yourself into the arms of the universe with this. Now I sense you're kind of in a freefall. I'm wondering like, is the parachute going to open? You are going to go, what would you like to happen now in an ideal world?


Well, you know, you talked about about leaving finished opportunity through which, by the way, it was great. I mean, it had come to a twenty years doing that, Brendan. And, you know, this business that just doesn't happen. It was remarkable. It will never happen again. And it was right. And probably, you know, if you were managing the career, you probably would have said, you know what, maybe it was enough.


But it was it was fine. It was perfect. It was lovely. I got a great send off. I have no issues about that whatsoever. But during that period, Aidan Cooney is one of my great friends, my best friend's husband for thirty odd years. We used to like Aiden all the time. I used to say, are you hungry for two job kewney because he stayed in radio. I remember what he said to me. You only say that to me because you don't know.


You've forgotten how lovely radio is. And I went, Well, maybe you're right. I got a call from the people in news talk as soon as I leave. And they said, Will you come in and do a bit of radio? And I haven't sat behind a radio microphone in twenty years. So I said, well, yeah, OK, Grant, I'd love to go in. I'm breaking it. I'm like, I'm terrified. But first day, get the rust off grant day.


Daito I said, I'm home and I rang in a minute. I got to the studio. Right. And I said, You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. I'd forgotten because I am not a television person. I was never that mad about television as a medium. It was a detour. It was a gig and it lasted for twenty years. When I was ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, going to bed at night, I was dreaming of two things.


One, playing for and scoring a goal in the court for them in Wembley. Second was being on the radio. That was the job I had in my headset. I used to listen to Radio Luxembourg. My father made me a crystal set when I was about nine or ten and until I left home five, six years later, every night, that's what I did. I listened to Bob Stewart and Kid Jansen and Tony Prince and all those people because we didn't have any or that we didn't have any other access to music on radio.


That's what I dreamed of doing. I never dreamed of being on television. And really, when you think of what I did on TV, I did radio, on TV, I got away with it. That's what I was doing. So as soon as I walked into that studio and did that again, I went home. This is actually what I meant to do and that is what I hope I will be allowed to do in the future.


OK, so there's another chapter here for you. And listen, I'll tell you what, Mark, there's a lot of love out there for you and a lot of people, as I said, remembering Mark Agnese, Night Train is where I was introduced to so much brilliant music and quite a few things I heard ended up in my collection tanks and then. People say that Paul and Kazakhstan, great to hear Mark Hacking in the airwaves again, Mark, you should have no worries.


You can still easily talk the hind legs. Off you go.


That I think that's that's a good endorsement. Listen, great to talk to you. Thank you so much for that. And good luck with everything. Mark Anthony. Thank you.


Brendan O'Connor on our TV Radio one.