Alison Curtis

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Alison Curtis
Birth name Alison Curtis
Born (1977-11-01) November 1, 1977 (age 36)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Show The Last Splash, Phantom Feedback
Station(s) Today FM, Phantom 105.2
Time slot Weekdays, 22:00 - 00:00
Style Disc jockey/chat jockey
Country Canada Canada
Website Official site

Alison "Ally"[1] Curtis (born 1 November 1977 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada) is a presenter of radio on Irish radio station Phantom 105.2[2] and a respected figure on the Irish music scene. She presented The Last Splash on Sunday nights from 20:00 until 22:00 and The Alison Curtis Show from 05:00 - 07:00.

The Last Splash and, later, The Alison Curtis Show, earned Curtis her three Best DJ Meteor nominations, though she narrowly lost out on the first two occasions to her Today FM colleague Ray D'Arcy and lost again in 2009, this time to her Today FM colleague Ray Foley. Curtis currently possesses her own television channel[3] and has written for Hot Press.

She is married to Anton Hegarty, the former bassist for Future Kings of Spain.

In early March 2011, it was announced that Curtis, who is expecting her first child, had left Today FM to return to Phantom FM, the radio station she originally worked for before joining Today FM.

Early life[edit]

Curtis was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, but spent her formative years in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in Anthropology.[4] Alongside her studies, she was actively involved in the Toronto indie scene, managing band nights, writing and editing the college paper, and drumming in a band called The Justice League.

Career[edit]

After graduating, Alison moved to Ireland. There she met another Canadian, who was searching for presenters for the then pirate radio station, Phantom, provoking the reaction: "God, you talk a lot".[4] She was signed up and presented a drivetime show on the station.[4] Shortly after that in 1999, she joined Today FM, as the senior researcher on The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show.[4] Working on a close-knit team, she was responsible for the show's features, guests and persuading Ian Dempsey to play a few "alternative" artists. She also spent 3 years presenting and producing her own drive time radio show on Phantom 105.2, a show that regularly featured live sessions from Irish and international artists as well as presenting The Last Splash on Sunday nights, she also presents an alternative music show from Monday to Thursday at 22:00.

She was on the panel of judges which helped decide the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2006.[5]

She presents and produces The Last Splash on Sunday nights, which initially had 7,000 listeners; this increased over time to 40,000.[4] She resigned from her post as producer of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on the Friday before her new show (see below) began to air.[4] The first song she played on her new first show was "Can't Go Back" by Primal Scream.[4]

The new show was given to Curtis by the Today FM executives in 2008. The Alison Curtis Show staged its inaugural live Christmas special at Whelan’s on 17 December 2008. Curtis and Ed Smith administered over three emerging acts – Cap Pas Cap, The Dirty Epics and Mick Flannery – as they did their respective things.[6][7][8] On 22 December 2008, based upon listener suggestions from the previous three weeks, they complied a "time capsule" for 2008, containing the top ten items representing the twelve months of the year.[9][10] A Valentine's Day special of the show took place at Whelan's Upstairs on 12 February 2009, featuring music from Duke Special, One Day International and Ann Scott.[11]

Personal life[edit]

“When I first arrived, I made quite inappropriate jokes about it, going, 'I've never had only white friends before'. Growing up in Canada, you're growing up with a girl from Tokyo, a girl from Korea and a Jewish girl. So it's just different. That's the most immediate thing my sister notices.”

Curtis was struck by the whiteness of Irish people, so much so that she made inappropriate jokes about these people.[4]

Curtis has one sibling, her twin sister Karen, a social worker in Canada.[4] Their father died when they were fourteen and their mother died when they were nineteen.[4] Curtis met her long-term boyfriend, Anton Hegarty, bass guitarist in Future Kings of Spain, at a show in Whelan's.[4] They married in 2007 and now live in East Wall, Dublin.[4] Curtis and Hegarty own two identical black cats named Scout and Jem (after the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee).[4]

Curtis watches The Daily Show Mad Men and dislikes Amy Winehouse and Britney Spears.[4] Her favourite Irish bands include Fight Like Apes, who she describes as "really talented... kind of rocky and metallic and their front girl is extremely watchable, almost going into Debbie Harry territory" and Hooray for Humans from Cork, who, according to Curtis, "are really cute, very poppy, almost Arcade Fire in the way they shout lyrics".[4]

Awards[edit]

While at Today FM, Curtis was nominated for the Best National DJ award on three occasions. On the first two occasions she narrowly lost out to her Today FM colleague Ray D'Arcy.[12][13] Curtis was nominated in the Best National DJ category again in 2009.[14] She lost to another Today FM colleague, Ray Foley, on this occasion.[15]

Year Recipient Award Result
2005 Alison Curtis Best National DJ Nominated
2006 Alison Curtis Best National DJ Nominated
2009 Alison Curtis Best National DJ Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Curtis has claimed U2 producer, Daniel Elmarr, called her this on a "going-away date". Today FM. 18 December 2008.
  2. ^ Alison Curtis profile. Today FM. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  3. ^ "My TV Channel". Retrieved 6 November 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Show time". The Irish Times. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Mullaly, Una (18 February 2007). "Who wins? You don't decide. . .". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Today FM's Christmas show at Whelan's". Hot Press. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "December 15th". Today FM. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "The Alison Curtis Show Christmas Special". Today FM. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "December 10th". Today FM. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "2008 Time Capsule, seeled [sic] and delivered". Today FM. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Alison Curtis Show to broadcast live for Valentine's Special". Hot Press. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  12. ^ "Meteor Music Awards nominations announced". RTÉ. 11 January 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "RTÉ 2fm trio make Meteor shortlist". RTÉ. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "Meteor Music Awards nominees revealed". RTÉ. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  15. ^ "Top accolade for The Script". The Irish Times. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 

External links[edit]