Now a popular new voice on 98FM, the radio presenter recalls feeling that her “life was over” after being dropped by Classic Hits 4FM in 2016. Even now, with her feet firmly under the table at the Dublin station, the DJ reveals how the experience left her suffering from imposter syndrome in her new gig.
“When I started, I think my third day, I walked into my boss’s office and burst into tears and told him he’d made a really bad decision and so had I,” begins Suzanne, who’s mum to Sadie (18 months), Hannah (5) and Oisín (7).
“It was just like, ‘What am I doing? I’ve three small kids at home.’ “But actually they’ve been incredible and I’ve well settled into it now. It’s just the nicest feeling to go in to somewhere that are really excited about what we’re doing and they’re really excited about the music.
“The terrible part is I remember playing the songs when they were new music,” she jokes. “Like today I played Rudimental Feel the Love [from 2012] and we walked into our wedding reception to it. But it lights me up and I hope that is the same feeling for [listeners].”
Dubliner Suzanne was snapped up by the station to host her own weekday morning show reliving the best of the nineties and noughties last September. And the 38-year-old confesses she’s still pinching herself following setback after setback in the notoriously cutthroat industry.
“I’ve been knocked back so many times,” she tells. “When I was made redundant when I was seven months pregnant with Hannah, I thought it was game over.
“I never felt seen. I was like, ‘I’m just going to be that person who never quite makes it.’ I never thought my day would come where my name would be on the show.
“My boss Pat sent me a picture of the schedule the week before I started, saying ‘Suzanne Kane on 98’, and I was, ‘Oh my God, this is it!’ I’ve worked so hard and now I’m getting a crack at it. I feel really lucky.”
Determined Suzanne remembers how her booming broadcasting career all began “in a garden shed with a few mates” as a teenager. And while her school career guidance counsellor wasn’t sold — urging her to become a teacher instead — the younger first cousin of British radio royalty, Chris Moyles, had plenty of family support.
“Christopher was very much like my other brother growing up,” explains Suzanne, whose daughter Hannah is named after Chris’s mum, her aunt and godmother. “I speak to him two or three times a week.
“He’s always been an incredible sounding board. When I was made redundant, I rang him bawling — like, I mean hysterical — and he was like, ‘Congratulations, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you’.
“He was like, ‘You’re going nowhere in that radio station — get out and spread your wings’. And actually he was so right.”
The advice indeed proved prophetic as the presenter soon bounced back with voiceover work on Today FM, which turned into presenter cover shifts.
Suzanne is also fast becoming a regular on Ireland AM, as well as fronting her own podcast, Dubland, alongside comedian PJ Gallagher.
And while the likeable host is still adjusting to her growing name recognition, her youngsters are seemingly taking their Mammy’s rising star in their stride.
“They have absolutely no interest whatsoever,” laughs Suzanne. “I don’t YouTube about Fortnite so Oisín has no interest. Hannah came on telly with me once and she was more interested in herself.
“I just walk in the door and they’re like, ‘Can I get a snack?’”
Suzanne and her husband Joey, who works in his family’s crash repair business, sadly experienced pregnancy loss in 2019. And the former FM104 presenter says she still gets messages from other couples enduring the same trauma since unexpectedly opening up about the loss on radio.
“I just think the more conversations we have about pregnancy loss is definitely a positive, even though it’s so sad,” she says. “I think the thing that struck me more was men contacting Joey.
“He was heartbroken and I think maybe men don’t get the time that they should for the heartbreak because they’re trying to keep it all together. I remember him saying to me, ‘It’s not OK, but I promise you it’s going to be OK’.
“For me it was a traumatic loss,” continues Suzanne, who welcomed baby Sadie exactly a year after getting the awful news that her previous pregnancy had ended.
“I never thought we’d get lucky enough to get pregnant and to have a healthy little baby, so when Sadie arrived she was just everything. She is the measure of my dreams.
Despite her laidback presenting style and cool fashion sense though, working mum Suzanne concedes the juggle is real.
“A girl sent me a message saying, ‘I’ve had my third baby, I feel like I’m drowning and you make it look so easy’, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s absolutely not’. I drown daily. I’ll come home and say to my husband, ‘Jesus, is the juice really worth the squeeze here? We’re passing ships.’
“I’m very open on Instagram,” she adds. “I have a big problem with women appearing to be one thing and then actually being something very different.
“There’s so many people across social media that are so well put together. Their lives look [perfect] and that’s what they choose to put in their window. That’s not me — my window is covered in Yoplait!
Tune into Suzanne on 98FM each weekday from 10am to 1pm or follow her on Instagram @suzanne.fm