LEGEND GONE Brendan O’Carroll says Simon Young ‘was a such a funny man and a genius in his own right’ following DJ’s death


A HOST of stars including Ian Dempsey and Brendan O’Carroll have paid tribute to radio legend Simon Young after his death.

The DJ — who kicked off his career on pirate radio — passed away at the age of 62, with fellow radio host Ian describing him as “a naturally deep thinking soul, a loving, funny friend”.

Young — whose real name was Thomas Meade — was a household name in the 1980s thanks to his shows on RTE 2FM and as a presenter on The Beatbox.

He was also one of the original cast of actors who appeared with Brendan in stage plays Mrs Brown’s Last Wedding at the Olympia Theatre and The Course.

While in 1996, Simon and fellow DJs Tony Fenton, Dave Fanning and Gerry Ryan took part in Brendan O’Carroll’s RTE game show Hot Milk and Pepper.

Recounting their time together, Brendan told the Irish Sun: “I was very lucky to have had Simon in the cast of The Course and Mrs Brown’s Last Wedding, as well as our movie Sparrows Trap.

“He was such a funny man and a genius in his own right as a writer and performer. There are very few that can boast of proficiency in radio presenting, television presenting, film acting, stage actor and author. He could.”

Former Mrs Brown’s Boys star Rory Cowan said: “The reason Simon worked so well with Brendan was he could go off script when Brendan did, and always be funny.

“Himself and Brendan were both from Finglas so had the same sense of humour. I remember Simon played a drunk in The Course, and was hilarious. As an actor going on stage, he had no fear and was so loveable. He was a guy with The X Factor."

However, bringing down the house at venues like The Olympia Theatre in Dublin with Brendan was only a side role for Simon, who was a major star of RTE radio and TV.

Former Head of 2fm, John Clarke, told the Irish Sun: “Simon Young belonged to a golden era of Irish radio when it was personality driven, and Simon was one of Ireland’s best known personalities.”

As well as radio shows on 2fm each Saturday and Sunday, the good humoured host presented TV shows The Beatbox, Den TV and quiz Pay The Price.

Clarke added: “Simon was such good fun. He was a massive draw for The Beat On The Street, the outside broadcasts which made so much money for RTE.

"He appeared on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and was in demand for all the big RTE shows like The Lyrics Board, and pop quiz Number One."

However, Simon’s career in broadcasting was cut short due to ill health in 2002 after he was diagnosed with nerve disorder Peripheral Neuropathy, and he also suffered from transient ischemic attacks — a temporary period of symptoms, similar to those of a stroke, that lasts only a few minutes.

Speaking to this journalist in 2009, Simon said: “There was a lot of pressure in my life. I was juggling too many things.”

But with the help of old pals, including Clarke and Dempsey, he did get back to radio from time to time.

He staged a comeback on local station Hot Country in 2009 before ill health took him back off air.

Clarke told us: “Simon missed broadcasting, the camaraderie of radio, and being a DJ, he always dreamed of coming back.

“He had the personality and humour to do it but sadly his voice wasn’t there.”

Today FM star Dempsey, who knew Simon since 1981 and remained friends with him up to his death, told the Irish Sun: “Simon coped well with 20 years of ill health — seeing the funny side of it, as usual.

“He was in and out of hospital a lot and by all accounts a popular patient with the staff.

“He always spoke very highly of the doctors and nurses. His popularity was all about his warmth. He was the friendliest person in the room and always on for some fun. He spoke to everybody at the same level. All ages, all types.”

The broadcasting star had gotten his first break as a club DJ in Dublin nightclubs Sloopys, Rainbows, and Annabels.

He later joined pirate station Big D in 1981, before being hired by 2fm.

Radio legend Simon Young's death was announced at the weekendCredit: COLLINS DUBLIN.

Former Head of 2fm Clarke said: “Simon was very serious about his music. He had the very first dance show on RTE. Had he not suffered ill health, I’ve no doubt he would have had a 25-year career in RTE with the likes of Larry Gogan, and probably be still doing it.”

In 2019, the former DJs and staff of Simon’s first radio station, Big D, honoured Simon for his service to the station.

Although it was reported that Simon was living in Washington at the time of his death, this may have been due to a mix-up with his surviving brother, best-selling author Glenn Meade.

The presenter has spent the last few years living in Clondalkin. Dustin The Turkey was also among those who tweeted tributes.

Dustin wrote: “So sad to hear that Simon Young is no longer with us. We’d great craic on The Den with Simon as each week he brought us The Pop Gossip proving beyond proof that we didn’t use scripts! Hope there’s a big aul garden in heaven he can tell people to get outta! RIP Pal.”

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