South East natives Niall Power and Vincent Bradley have been part of the prime time line up of Beat 102-103 since Ireland’s first regional radio station began broadcasting back in 2003. For the first three years, Waterford native Niall presented the station’s popular afternoon talk show called Beat Talk and Vincent Bradley who hails from Adamstown in Wexford was a full time sports broadcast journalist with the station.
While guests at the wedding of a colleague in January 2006, Niall joked to the then CEO of Beat 102-1903 Waterford man Kieran McGeary that he should “put myself and Vinny on brekkie”. Niall’s throwaway comment planted the seed in the CEO’s mind and exactly one month later, February 13th 2006, Niall and Vinny took to the airwaves in their new time slot of breakfast and have never looked back!
Breakfast radio is increasingly competitive but the duo of Niall and Vinny have remained consistently strong. Over the last decade, the show’s format has undergone numerous guises and tweaks to constantly improve its offering. In the most recent radio research results, Beat Breakfast achieved a record high of reaching 45,000 adult listeners daily. Current CEO and Programme Director of Beat, Gabrielle Cummins has worked closely with Niall and Vinny throughout this time and outlines why she thinks Beat Breakfast regularly produces a winning formula “there is a LOT of ego in the radio industry but Niall and Vinny are extremely talented broadcasters who have always remained relatable to their loyal and valued audience; they know how to have the craic, they listen to what their fans have to say, they have huge respect for each other, their listeners and everyone else they work with and most importantly they’re friends so there is a natural fun factor between them that can’t be taught”.
There have been many Beat Breakfast programming highlights spanning the ten years including marrying two strangers which was a multi award winning station social experiment, chasing Fugitives, bringing the Beat Breakfast Birthday Bus on tour which visited all five counties of the South East and many memorable celebrity interviews. In recent months, Beat Breakfast touched emotions with Beat’s FeelGood Friday campaign, and Niall had the ultimate surprise for Vinny when he arranged for him to hang out with one of his favourite popstars, Taylor Swift.
Niall Power has pinpointed ‘The Daily Dilemma’ as one of the show’s features that he is particularly proud of “what started as an occasional feature has grown into our most popular item on the show. It still amazes me why people air their most personal issues on the biggest morning show in the region, but I suppose people want guidance from those who aren’t attached or involved. We’ve also seen huge changes in how we interact with our listeners. There was no social media when we launched in Feb 06, but you can now engage with us each morning and even when we’re not on air, right across the day on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and many other platforms.”
For many years, Vinny has been quizmaster of another of the show’s popular features ‘Beat The Bomb’. He says they’ve encountered some great characters from the South East over the last decade. “We feel like we’re friends with many of our listeners at this stage, even though we’ve never met most of them! In a lot of cases, they’re just names on a text or a voice on the phone but they talk to us as if we’re in their gang or part of their family in the kitchen in the morning! It’s an odd kind of relationship but we never take it for granted. The great thing is that the “family” is growing all the time, as our listenership figures show.”
In more recent years, Niall and Vinny have been joined by Waterford based Jamaican native Trish Archer and she likes to think she keeps the boys on their toes “When I was younger I really wanted an older brother and now I have two! I say it all the time when I’m asked what it’s like working with the guys. It’s like being in your sitting room and the gang’s around for a catch-up and cuppa. I have to say it’s been an adventurous three years on Breakfast with Niall and Vinny. Hands down they are two of the most funny and witty people I know; their energy and humour is effortless and so contagious, they really do make it easy to present with them each morning.”
The station is planning a major breakfast party on Friday February 12th at The Set Theatre in Kilkenny to celebrate Niall and Vinny’s ten years of making great breakfast radio. Popular Irish band that has featured many times on Beat Breakfast is Keywest and the band is excited to be performing live at the party: “Niall and Vinny and in fact all the team at Beat have always been really supportive of our music, giving us plenty of prime time airtime. The guys are seriously talented but down to earth at the same time. We are delighted to help them celebrate this major milestone and look forward to hounding them for more airtime for many years to come!!”
In the lead up to the Friday party, there will be lots of surprises on air and online on Beat 102-103 with some exciting giveaways including BIG cash prizes. If you would like to be one of the lucky listeners to attend the breakfast party, email [email protected]