Today FM’s Ray Foley talks about battling his weight after major surgery

Broadcaster Ray Foley says his long struggle to control his weight has been thrown into turmoil after he recently underwent major surgery.

The 6ft 2in radio star currently weighs 101kg and has fluctuated between 12 and 17 stone over the years.

“I was even taller in my early days at Spin and in my early days at Today FM; I was 17 stone in my early 20s,” Ray recalls. “I decided I was going to lose it and went down to about 12 or 13 stone.

“The five things I gave up were alcohol, potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. I know we eat a lot of these things, but when you try to cut as much of them as possible, you end up eating a lot less carbs and eating other things instead.

“I’ll do it again. After I lost it, I kept saying, ‘I’m going to sort myself out now and do it,’ but I’ll keep eating and drinking at the weekend.”

Ray, 41, tried taking boot camp exercise classes during lockdown but his attempt to get fit was dashed by a rare condition.

“It started about two or three years ago and it’s come back. In the second half of last year I wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t able to train at all.

“I had something, how should I describe it? It wasn’t life threatening, it had to do with my butt. In every way it was like an ingrown hair, but it took several surgeries to clear it and I couldn’t move,” he explains.

“There’s general anesthesia on the table and they’ve done something to clear it up and you’ll have to come back every couple of weeks. I just got the all clear for this last month. It could be that I wasn’t taking care of myself, who knows?

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“Now that I’m not working at breakfast, I can get into a routine and plan. Now I work afternoons on Today FM, I have no excuse, so I go to the gym at 7am several times a week.”

Ray returned to national radio after a seven-year absence as host of Today FM’s afternoon show.


Ray Foley with Muireann O. Connell and Martin King. Photo: Brian McEvoy

During this time, he guest-hosted the Six o’clock show at Virgin Media and eventually considered a career change.

The Mayoman moved to Dublin at the age of 17 to study journalism at the Dublin Institute of Technology. There he got a job as a news reader on several radio shows and pursued his passion for music by DJing with pirate radio stations.

While working at Spin he fell in love with Dublin native Kate Carolan and they will soon be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

“She also worked for news. I was only 21 or 22 when I started dating her,” he recalls.

“We got married when I was 26, relatively young. When I think about it, it was definitely very young. People said back then: ‘Are you a bit young?’ But we’ve been dating for years.”

Kate now works as an editor for RTÉ and the couple have two young sons as well as a beloved Cockapoo dog.

“Kate calls him a Covid cliché. We only got it last year because the family that had it couldn’t keep it because one of their children was allergic to it,” he explains.

“Before that we had a mixed breed, a bit like a Lurcher. She was about 14 or 15 when she died and was devastated. We said ‘we’ll never do that again’. She was our first baby in the house.”

During various radio line-up changes over the past few years, Ray has been left in limbo and contemplating a career change.

“I was also talking to a career coach about other things until a friend asked me to fill in as breakfast presenter at Cork’s Red FM for a couple of months,” he recalls.

He thought it would be a fun gig to spend a summer in Cork but then he was offered a two-year contract that became a five-year stint at Leeside.

“We had two young children at home, but Kate’s attitude was ‘do it.’ I was at a point where I was like, ‘Do I still want to be on the radio?’ I did a lot of TV and did that Six o’clock showand I was wondering if I was done with the radio,” he muses.

“I was unhappy before I started doing what I was doing and I was unhappy at the prospect of not knowing what I was going to do next in terms of work, so she said, ‘Go and do it it if you enjoy it’.

“So I was happy in my job, I suppose. I missed the baby miserably. But when I got home, I was busy.”

Ray got up at 5:30 am every morning and took a nap after the show around 11:00 am. He doesn’t like sports or nightclubs and usually spends his time watching TV with his roommate. He still watches a lot of TV today and regularly watches two or three episodes Peaky Blinders on bus 46A to his home in Dun Laoghaire.

He was recently offered a return to the national airwaves of Today FM.

“That was incredibly good news,” he admits to the offer. “It was like, ‘Who gets to try again, another crack?’ you might be listening [to a show] and say, ‘Oh, I could try, and here’s what I could do when I’m on the air’.”

Ray got Covid the week before he was due to return to Today FM. “It was a severe cough for two days, but I wasn’t wasted. One of my kids got it, but my wife and the other boy didn’t,” he says.

For an hour of his afternoon slot he takes on the 2 Johnnies on 2FM and is thoughtful when asked about the recent controversy when they got into a fight over sexist comments.

“I suppose you just always have to be very careful. I started at Today FM when I was 22 or 23 and the world was a very different place.

“I think what we said and did back then, we started at 10 a.m., we said things then that you wouldn’t get away with now, and secondly, you would look back and say that’s not necessary,” he says .

“It was unfortunate for them that in their first week they had to learn that there is a difference between podcasting and broadcasting.”

https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-features/today-fms-ray-foley-speaks-of-battle-to-control-his-weight-after-major-surgery-41552892.html Today FM’s Ray Foley talks about battling his weight after major surgery

Fry Electronics Team

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