Former Miss Sunday World Laura Fox and The 2 Johnnies lined up for 2FM gigs

Former Miss Sunday World and comedy duo are central to shake-up at heart of top radio station
Laura Fox has been doing stand-in but now she’s set for a long-term contract

Laura Fox has been doing stand-in but now she’s set for a long-term contract

Daragh Keany & Eugene Masterson

Former Miss Sunday World Laura Fox is to be announced as 2FM's newest DJ with the comedy due The 2 Johnnies also lined up for a primetime gig.

Today we can reveal that ­Laura is likely to take over the coveted Louise McSharry weekend slot, having stood in on the show in recent months.

The move is part of a bid to attract listeners especially in Dublin following worrying recent figures.

The 31-year-old has been one of a few stars covering the three-hour slot while station bosses scrambled to find a permanent replacement. But the Sunday World has learned that the model-turned-DJ is about to put pen to paper on a long-term contract.

Laura made her name with Junk Kouture and doing radio gigs

Laura made her name with Junk Kouture and doing radio gigs

Galway girl Laura, who moved to Dublin seven years ago, recently presented RTÉ2's Junk Kouture event with Emma Power and has not been afraid to declare her ambitions in TV and radio.

In recent years she has been doing the entertainment slots across all of the midweek programmes and has regularly covered for the station's biggest stars.

McSharry's slot was suddenly ­cancelled last October.

The 39-year-old DJ took to social media at the time to say: "I'm not on this weekend, I thought I was I going to be but then they decided that I shouldn't be. So, I'm actually gutted about that because we had a such a good show planned."

Laura with Emma Power

Laura with Emma Power

It comes as the Sunday World can also reveal that comedy due The 2 Johnnies are being lined up for an afternoon slot on 2FM.

Their bright start to 2022 follows a devastating few weeks for the ­Tipperary pair, which saw them ­having to cancel their sold-out 10,000-seater gig in Dublin's 3 Arena as well as pull the plug on hosting RTÉ's New Year's Eve outdoor countdown show due to Covid restrictions.

A regular gig for Johnny B and Johnny Smacks on 2FM would come after successfully filling in for Jennifer Zamparelli on her morning show last summer.

The station's afternoon slots are occupied by Tracey Clifford from 12 noon to 3pm and Jenny Greene from 3pm to 6pm.

Louise McSharry

Louise McSharry

Industry insiders say that neither presenter may have to make way for a 2 Johnnies programme and both shows could be shortened to two hours each, leaving a two-hour slot for the comedy duo.

"Not only did they fill in for a week for Jennifer last August when she was on holidays, but they have also occasionally co-hosted the show with her," explained an insider.

"There's also the possibility 2FM bosses could ask them to co-host a show with either Tracey or Jenny, but either way, the plan is for the pair to be on regularly in the afternoons."

The mooted shake-up comes in the wake of worrying figures for 2FM in the latest JNLR radio listenership figures, which show the station having just 3pc of the Dublin market in the 12pm to 7pm period.

Sunshine lead the field at 10pc, ­followed by Spin on 9pc, FM104 at 8pc and Q102 on 7pc.

Tracy Clifford was down from 130,000 listeners to 128,000, while Jenny Greene increased from 113,00 to 122,000.

RTE had no comment to make when contacted by the Sunday World.

The 2 Johnnies' meteoric rise to fame has led to them fronting their own TV shows, hosting weekly Podcasts, writing books, recording albums and touring nationwide.

Johnny Smacks told us recently the duo were disappointed the biggest gig of their career in the 3 Arena had be shelved just before Christmas.

"Obviously, that show had to be pulled because of the 50pc capacity stuff and everything that goes with it," he told us.

"It was a big deal for us career wise. Financially, not sounding cheesy or anything, that didn't really come into it for us. What got us was that 10,000 people bought tickets, booked hotels, had babysitters organised and all that. We just really felt for those people.

The 2 Johnnies finally get some good news after Covid cancelled their top gigs

The 2 Johnnies finally get some good news after Covid cancelled their top gigs

"Thank God, we have been able to put it back till April 30, God know where we will be by then."

Johnny Smacks used be a butcher with Supervalu before teaming up one night with his friend Johnny O'Brien, a hurley maker, to MC an event at a GAA club and found they had a chemistry which people loved.

"It has changed our lives financially of course. But most definitely about how we think about things as well. Now we kind of think 'anything is possible, if we got this far, what could be next'," he said.

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices