26 April 1948|
County Down, Northern Ireland
|Died||13 May 2015
County Dublin, Ireland
Davis was born in Bangor County Down to a Protestant father and a Roman Catholic mother (a native of Bray, County Wicklow). He attended St. MacNissis College, a Catholic boarding school in County Antrim and described his upbringing as ecumenical. During his childhood he acquired a love of boats which later provided the inspiration for the TV series Out of the Blue.
Davis started as a news reporter with the American network ABC and BBC Northern Ireland before spending 11 years in the newsroom in RTÉ. In the early 1980s he became a newsreader for The Six-o-clock News and began to become well-known due to his sometimes off-the cuff comments on news stories.
Davis impersonated Big Tom on the RTÉ satirical programme Hall's Pictorial Weekly. He was offered a part in a show-band in Cork as a result of this. After a ballroom tour, he joined RTÉ proper in 1975, initially to work as a television news reporter, eventually becoming newsreader on the nine o'clock news. In the mid-1980s, Davis hosted his own talk show, Davis at Large. It was on this show, which was screened live, that he was attacked and hurled across the studio by a guest female body builder. In addition to this he had an interactive summer current affairs show, simply called Davis. In 1986, Davis began co-hosting (with Thelma Mansfield) RTÉ 1's afternoon programme Live at 3, a role he would fill for eleven years.
Davis presented the Rose of Tralee twice in 1995 and 1996, the first of these when Gay Byrne was taken ill at short notice. He memorably thanked the providers of the air conditioning while wiping sweat from his brow. Live at 3 came to an end in 1997. Nearly 15 years later, Thelma Mansfield said, "They wanted to get rid of the old faces and bring in some new ones". Davis returned to the screen in the late 1990s with a marine programme devoted to boats and the waters around Ireland called Out of the Blue, which ran for four series, the last of which was broadcast in 2001.
In 2005, he hosted a show called Time on Their Hands, a travel series for older people. One of his last television appearances was on the second season of Celebrity Bainisteoir in 2009, in which he and seven other Irish celebrities managed an intermediate Gaelic football club team from their home county in an official GAA tournament. Davis's team won the tournament. He and eventual runner-up Katherine Lynch appeared together on Tubridy Tonight the evening before the final was broadcast.
In 2000, Davis presented a radio quiz show called A Question of Food. During the summer season he had taken over RTÉ Radio 1's mid-morning slot usually occupied by Today with Pat Kenny, and he also hosted the radio phone-in show, Liveline, when regular presenter Joe Duffy was on holiday. Later, he presented Sunday Magazine with Davis on 4 on 4fm.
On 10 May 2015, Davis spoke on the topic of obesity on Marian Finucane's Sunday radio show (presented that day by Aine Lawlor). Lawlor introduced Davis by remarking on his own substantial recent weight loss: "You look, you are literally, I'd say, about a third of the man that you used to be."
Davis won two Jacob's Awards for his television work. In 1984, he received his first award for the series The Season That's In It. He won his second award in 1991 for his co-presenting of Live at 3.
- "Davis rides a new wave". Irish Independent. 29 January 1998. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- "Episode Five". A Little Bit TV. 2012.
- Murphy, Catherine (16 October 2011). "Female TV Presenters: There is only one Queen Bee". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "RTE Annual Report 2000" (PDF). RTÉ News. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "Derek wins out in tense Bainisteoir final". Evening Herald. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
- "Tubridy's Saturday line-up revealed". RTÉ. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
- "Obesity Policy: The panel is joined by Derek Davis who has lost a lot of weight". 10 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Derek Davis speaks to Aine Lawlor in his last RTE radio interview". 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Tributes paid to broadcaster Derek Davis who has died aged 67: The former Live at 3 and Rose of Tralee presenter's death – after a short illness – was announced this afternoon". 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Former broadcaster Derek Davis dies". 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "Friends and family pay tribute to RTE broadcaster Derek Davis in emotional funeral service". evoke.ie. 18 May 2015.
|Host of The Rose of Tralee
1995 – 1996