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10 Questions with Limerick radio presenter/producer John Loftus



Limerick Radio Presenter & Producer John Loftus answers 10 questions about his journey into radio and his inspiration. Photo: Fennell Photography

Limerick radio presenter John Loftus hosts Sounds from a Green World and The Indie Lunch on

John Loftus is a Limerick radio presenter/producer who hosts Sounds from a Green World and The Indie Lunch on
Limerick Radio Presenter & Producer John Loftus said, “Performing at my first ever improv show in Dorset, the adrenaline rush was something else and I was instantly hooked.” Fennell Photography 2023

John’s career in radio was inspired by former award-winning RTE Radio 1 presenter Michelle Harding (Acoustic Highway) who mentored John, bringing him on board as the producer for her Eclectic Highway show on Clare FM and Tipp FM.

In parallel John’s first broadcasting opportunity came on East Limerick Community Radio, and it was there that Sounds from a Green World was born, conceived from John’s passion for showcasing the best in contemporary Irish music.

John can regularly be found banging out the tunes right across the county, playing DJ sets from Glin Castle to Bradshaws in Castleconnell and his favourite venue in Ireland – Dolans.




He also writes for Irish music blog, sings with The Rolling Tones, Limerick’s only rock’n’roll choir, and is a very affable event emcee too – due to his years with improv comedy group Choke Comedy and his day job as Communications & Employee Engagement Manager with BT Ireland.

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I was actually born in Manchester and even though I left there when I was seven, I still share some affinity with the city, especially the music. It’s a place that shares many similarities with Limerick – the wonderfully gritty, self-effacing attitude of the people, the dial code, a unique culture and the weather!

We settled just slightly on the wrong side of the county border in Cratloe but Limerick was always the place I gravitated to, especially from my early teenage years when I started secondary school in St. Nessan’s Community College, and it was where all my cultural awakenings began.

Tell me about your background in performance

I’m the very essence of a late bloomer even though I remember my English teacher in St. Nessan’s trying to get me to take part in the school play. I was a very shy kid growing up and it wasn’t till I went to college (SOPS on O’Connell Ave.) that I really started coming out of myself.

But I actually didn’t take to the stage till my 30s when I fell into a love of improv by complete accident after attending a workshop during Limerick Mental Health Week which I didn’t even realise was anything to do with improv!

After a year of trying my hand at numerous improv activities I completed a weekend residential in the UK, and when I returned I made contact with Limerick improv group Choke Comedy who put me through the ringer (in the best ways possible) and after a few months rehearsing with them I made my debut in Baker Place and glorious years of hilarity followed.

Limerick Radio Presenter & Producer John Loftus said Dave Fanning “was a guiding light in educating my musical palette, introducing me to so many great Irish acts along the way”. Photo: Fennell Photography 2023

My career in radio took even longer to come to fruition starting off on East Limerick Community Radio, then graduating to an “interesting” time on Clare FM, before finding my musical spiritual home on where I have been for 10 hugely enjoyable years now.

My improv and broadcasting pursuits have also played a huge part in my career in BT Ireland where my role involves delivering programmes and events for colleagues across the business, everything from conferences to weekends away to Christmas parties and of course the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. I have a job title but depending on the activity I can be facilitator, project manager, chief creative, interviewer, writer, event coordinator, floor manager and emcee – and usually two or three of those things all at once!

What are memorable moments in your performance career?

Performing at my first ever improv show in Dorset, the adrenaline rush was something else and I was instantly hooked.

Playing to a packed tent at Electric Picnic with Choke Comedy was amazing. And of course our bonkers 32 County Challenge when we performed an improv gig in every county in Ireland in 3.2 days !!

My first show with The Rolling Tones at our Summer Showcase was also very special, as I also sang a sole number – Cole’s Corner by Richard Hawley.

If I’m honest every time I get a chance to take the stage it is a compete buzz, maybe because it took me so long to get to where I am now? For example, last weekend DJing on the terrace in Dolans was an absolute blast!

What has been your biggest achievement?

Getting to a stage in my life where I have a day job that I really love, where no week is the same and every day I get to engage with passionate people on a variety of diverse activities, interests, and events.

I also have so many opportunities to express myself and indulge my passions, particularly when it comes to music, whether that’s on, DJing live, singing with The Rolling Tones or at the last Thursday sessions in Bradshaws, and writing for

Obviously hitting a milestone of 500 episodes of Sounds from a Green World on this weekend is something I’m extermely proud of.

What has been the most challenging part of your career?

There was a point in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I hated my day job (even though I was very successful) and it had become all consuming – emotionally and in every other way. I was a bit lost to be honest, but I went back to college and graduated with a Diploma in Psychotherapy, and even though I didn’t do anything directly in the realm of mental health it certainly opened pathways for me. I also gained the realisation that I get my energy from being creative and interacting and engaging with people. Since that point I’ve been very fortunate to be able to pursue a life that fulfilling in so many ways.

Who are your greatest inspirations?

When I was a teenager Dave Fanning was a guiding light in educating my musical palette, introducing me to so many great Irish acts along the way – I’ll never forget hearing the fragile but magnificent voice of Sinead O’Connor when he played “Heroine” her collaboration with The Edge for the first time. Her loss last year still weighs heavy on my heart, as I’m sure it does for so many.

I am of course forever in Michelle Harding’s debt as it was she who encouraged me to follow my radio aspirations in the first place. When it comes to comedy Dara O’Brian has always inspired me as he has such a lovely relaxed natural stage presence and I love that he has used his comedy career to indulge his personal passions and interests. John Cremer who mentored me in my early improv explorations was key in my understanding how to successfully marry my career and creative pursuits.

What advice would you give to someone starting a career in broadcasting?

Look for any opportunity no matter how small and grab it. There are so many platforms out there now to get your voice heard, the digital realm is endless. So just get recording a show or a podcast and start spreading the word and keep your eyes peeled for any chances to try out for a station or extend your audience or network.

I’d also recommend that you get yourself a mentor who’s worked in the area of broadcasting that you are interested in. I’ve been very fortunate to have had a number of those through the years and they’ve were vital guides in the various twists and turns that my career has taken.

Why is supporting local musical acts so important to you?

We have so much fantastic musical talent in Limerick and across the country and they don’t get nowhere near enough exposure especially by those in a position to do so – it’s scandalous really. If I can do anything to help get their music into the ears of more people, then I’ll have done my job and delivered on the ethos that my Sounds from a Green World show was founded on.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still on, it would be great if we were granted a full-time FM license, or we finally see a proper DAB platform in this country – you know like a modern country. I’d also love to make a return to improv as Covid put a kibosh on that. So basically, on the radio and on a stage somewhere!

What do you love most about Limerick?

I’ve lived in Limerick for over thirty years and even though I’m not originally from here I’ve never felt like an outsider which I can’t say of everywhere I’ve lived in Ireland. The people are hugely welcoming and there’s a wonderful attitude of looking after each other, partly because we feel no one else will.

I may have been born a Mancunian, but I’ll forever be a proud Limerickman.

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