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25th May 2024

The 2 Johnnies open up about their reasons for leaving RTÉ 2FM

Stephen Porzio

The duo were quick to dismiss speculation that their exit from the station was down to new rules being introduced at RTÉ.

The 2 Johnnies have explained their reasons for parting ways with RTÉ 2FM in a new radio appearance.

Earlier in the week, the presenting duo’s shock departure from the station was announced – with the pair having hosted Drive It with The 2 Johnnies for over two years.

With their exit coming around the same time as other 2FM presenters Doireann Garrihy and Jennifer Zamparelli, The 2 Johnnies will host their final episode of the programme next Friday.

Appearing on The Brendan O’Connor Show on Saturday (25 May), O’Connor asked the duo why they are leaving the station.

“We haven’t time. To be honest, we’ve been working seven days a week for the last two years, and we’re working all day today and all day tomorrow again on our new show,” The 2 Johnnies said.

“We can’t stop doing our podcast, we can’t stop doing our patreon podcast, we can’t stop doing live gigs. Something had to go. We could’ve stopped doing telly, but that’s very sporadic work.

“So if we want to ever have our lives back, unfortunately radio was the one that had to go. And we love doing it, Brendan.”

In response, O’Connor asked: “But if you loved it so much – if they’d offered you more money would you stay?”

The 2 Johnnies then replied: “No, the money was agreed long ago.

“You can’t keep working seven days a week forever. We want our lives back.”

The 2 Johnnies also said that though it was never their “main gig”, they loved their experience hosting a radio show.

“Radio is magical,” they explained. “Before we went into it, we weren’t listening to a lot of radio. And then once we got into it and you can see the connection that you make with people.

“You know it here. You’re the sound of people’s Saturday morning, Sunday morning. We were the sound of people’s drive home from school and work. Radio really does matter to people.

“But for us, the sun in our universe is the podcast. That’s the biggest thing we have and that’s the mother ship. Everything revolves around that.”

The presenting duo were quick to dismiss speculation that their exit from the station was down to new rules being introduced at RTÉ.

O’Connor asked the pair: “There’s a lot of speculation that tighter rules that RTÉ have brought in around outside work and outside income, declaring gifts and all that…”

At this point, The 2 Johnnies interrupted the host, by stating: “Never mind that.”

They then added: “We’re not influencers, Brendan. We’re not going off getting our eyebrows done and stuff like that and posting about it. The more power to people who are.

“I mean, it’s always been the case that when you sign an RTÉ contract that you have to get permission for outside work. So, that’s always happened anyway and we’ve still done it.

“You can go on our Instagram, you can listen to our podcast where you will hear the deals that we’ve done, so it’s no secret for us.

“This register of interests, that wasn’t something that came into our minds when making this decision to change, genuinely.”

The 2 Johnnies also said that they have been “out of contract” since February.

“When we took over Brendan, the drivetime slot was the lowest in the ratings for 2FM. Now its the highest,” they added.

“We came in to do a job, which was bring up the ratings. We’ve done that. What more can we do over the next two or three years if we were to sign a contract? It’s hard to know.

“We don’t want to burn out either, honestly.”

The pair also said they are leaving RTÉ 2FM on “good terms” and that they believe they “will be back on radio someday”.

The 2 Johnnies also said they will be returning to TV screens for RTÉ in the autumn.

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