Tom Dunne

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Tom Dunne
Tom Dunne 2014.jpg
Dunne in 2014
Thomas Dunne

EducationEngineering degree
Alma materUniversity College Dublin
EmployerNewstalk (August 2008- present, currently)
Today FM (1999- August 2008, formerly)
98FM (formerly)
Known forPresenting "Pet Sounds" on Today FM, his morning radio show and later late-night show on Newstalk, lead singer/songwriter for Something Happens
Partner(s)Audrey Dunne
Children2 Daughters; Eva & Skye

Thomas 'Tom' Dunne is an Irish radio broadcaster with Newstalk.

Prior to joining Newstalk, Dunne worked on Today FM, presenting his very successful and hugely popular radio program, "Pet Sounds" which began airing in 1999.

Nine years later, in August 2008, Dunne left Today FM to join Newstalk with "Pet Sounds" also ceasing to air as well as a result of Dunne's departure. Dunne's former slot on Today FM was taken over albeit temporarily by various guest presenters and later by Paul McLoone who had previously worked as a producer on "Pet Sounds" with McLoone subsequently becoming an official radio presenter and making his own official on-air debut during September 2008, a month after Dunne's departure from Today FM which also saw McLoone taking over Dunne's former Today FM slot on a permanent basis with McLoone's show, "The Paul McLoone Show" also replacing "Pet Sounds".

Early life[edit]

Dunne graduated from University College, Dublin, with a degree in engineering, before becoming lead singer and songwriter for the band Something Happens from the 1980s until the mid-1990s.

Radio career[edit]

Dunne became involved in radio, initially presenting a nighttime contemporary Irish music show called Totally Irish on 98FM, taking over from Jim O'Neill . He moved to early evenings on 98FM before moving to the newly operating national radio station, Today FM in 1999, where he presented his show, Pet Sounds from 7.00pm to 10.00pm every Monday to Thursday. The show itself quickly became known and well-regarded among various music fans in Ireland for playing a mix of alternative, indie rock and new music and frequently aired songs before they received mainstream radio airplay.

Dunne also filled in on The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and The Ray D'Arcy Show whenever both Ian Dempsey and Ray D'Arcy were on holidays. In the event of Dunne covering for a Today FM DJ during the daytime or if Dunne was also on off holidays, former A-House frontman Dave Couse filled in for Dunne.

In 2006, Dunne contacted Paul McLoone, the current frontman/lead vocalist with the Northern Irish punk group, The Undertones and offered McLoone a position on his show. McLoone who had previously worked as a producer on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show for five years before resigning in 2004 ultimately accepted the offer and returned to Today FM which also saw McLoone becoming a producer on Dunne's show.

Two years later, during August 2008, it was later announced that Dunne was leaving Today FM to join rival national station, Newstalk which also saw Dunne's "Pet Sounds" radio show come to an end as well after nine years of being on the air.

In the aftermath of Dunne's immediate departure from Today FM, various guest presenters took over the role on a temporary basis which enabled the guests themselves to play a selection of their own songs while McLoone, at a loss at what to do in regards to the future of the vacant position ultimately approached the Today FM staff himself, asking to be given the opportunity to take over the position albeit temporarily and until at least another replacement could be found. Upon the staff agreeing, McLoone stepped down from his role as a producer which also saw him becoming an official radio presenter and although McLoone's tenure as Dunne's replacement was originally intended to last for three months, McLoone later became the permanent replacement for Dunne due to the increasing popularity associated with him and his unnamed radio show. As such, McLoone's own new radio show, "The Paul McLoone Show" was subsequently created with the show itself also coming to serve as the new and permanent replacement for "Pet Sounds". A month after Dunne's official departure from Today FM, McLoone made his own on-air debut as a radio presenter during September 2008 with the show itself first airing at 7pm- 10pm, then 7pm- midnight before receiving its current time slot of 9pm to midnight. McLoone's show also airs every Monday to Thursday on Today FM and from September 2015, Dunne's show began airing from the later time of 10pm which means that from every Monday to Thursday from September 2015 onwards, Dunne and McLoone's shows go head to head from 10pm to midnight.

Dunne moved to Newstalk in September 2008.[1] Newstalk and Today FM are part of the Communicorp Group, owned by Denis O'Brien and at first, presented his show titled "The Tom Dunne Show" on weekday mornings from 10am to midday before being moved to the nighttime slot due to Pat Kenny's arrival. Dunne has turned up on various talk-based shows on Newstalk as an expert contributor for music-based discussions, for example when some famous musician has died.

On Sunday nights, Dunne presents an alternative-leaning music show on Newstalk called "Surf's Up".

Newstalk was obliged to issue an on-air apology to Mary Harney after Nell McCafferty's comments on The Tom Dunne Show in 2010. Nell McCafferty was unapologetic about her remarks.[2]

Television career[edit]

Dunne's first foray into TV presenting was on a short-lived youth-orientated music programme on RTÉ called Popscene. Dunne later took over the reins of Planet Rock Profiles from Dave Fanning, a programme that has aired on RTÉ, ITV, VH1, and many other TV stations around the world. He presented (along with Jenny Huston) RTÉ's coverage of the Electric Picnic music festival in 2006.[3] Dunne also presents a mobile TV show called The Hive on the 3 Ireland mobile network. Tom is the unseen narrator of RTÉ's The Zoo.

Other media work[edit]

Dunne occasionally contributes the voice of Bill Cullen to Today FM's Gift Grub. He writes a weekly column in the HQ Magazine City Entertainment supplement of the Evening Herald. He has also published three collections of his favourite songs by Irish artists, or artists associated with Ireland, known as the Tom Dunne Collections. In early 2006, he released The Definitive Tom Dunne Vol. 01: Pet Picks 2000-2006, a compilation of some of the most popular tracks from the Pet Sounds radio show.


In 2002, Dunne scooped the double of the Best DJ title at the Meteor Music Awards and the same prize from Hot Press magazine. He has five PPI Awards.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2002 Tom Dunne Best DJ at the Meteor Awards Won
2002 Tom Dunne Best DJ from Hot Press Won


  1. ^ O'Brien, Jason (21 August 2008). "Dunne switches over to Newstalk". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  2. ^ McDonagh, Patricia (12 March 2010). "Radio station apologises for Nell's 'Harney smear' on air". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  3. ^ "RTÉ Two to broadcast Electric Picnic". RTÉ. 25 August 2006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2008.

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