BBC Radio 2s Louise Molony on how BCFE was instrumental in her career
From Mary J. Blige to the Foo Fighters, Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) graduate Louise Molony has worked with some of the biggest names in music.
Louise now produces the Sarah Cox Show on BBC Radio 2 with over five million daily listeners tuning in to the UK’s most popular station.
Sitting her Leaving Certificate in 2002, Louise admits she wasn’t a naturally studious person and fell into a two-year diploma course in human resources. However, she knew in her heart this was not where her passion lay.
“I remember sitting at the dining room table and telling my parents this wasn’t what I wanted. They advised me to finish the diploma so I would have the qualification and then told me to follow my instincts.”
Louise applied for and was accepted to the two-year diploma in presentation media at BCFE, which she says gave her a taste of what she really wanted to do – radio.
She sought advice from the head of Ballyfermot’s radio department, Bernard Evans, who told his enthusiastic student to pursue the follow-on degree in Media Production Management in Dublin City University. She then completed her masters degree in television & radio production at NUI Maynooth before moving to London and beginning her career with Absolute Radio.
With the launch of Radio Nova in September 2010, Louise returned to Ireland and came on board as their Head of Operations and voice of the station. Within six months she had her own show.
“Working with Nova was amazing! They flew me over to the MTV Music Awards and I interviewed Bon Jovi on the red carpet. I spent two years there and I loved it.”
Despite her success at Nova, Louise was missing London.
“I just quit and got on the plane - no job, no contract, and no contacts…except for one. I got in touch with Pete Simmonds the Programme Director for Magic FM, but he told me he didn’t have a job for me. I started to email him every Friday. On Christmas Eve, I finally got a reply, there was a vacancy!”
Louise spent six years at Magic Radio – who also run Kerrang! Fm, Planet Rock and Magic Chilled. She worked as a producer for Denise Van Outen and Al Murray and hosted her own show on Sunday afternoons on Kerrang! FM where she interviewed the Foo Fighters, Mary J Blige, and Sam Smith to name just a few!
The next step in Louise’ career was joining The Sara Cox Show as a producer and in 2018 the show moved to the Drivetime slot on BBC Radio 2, the UKs biggest radio station with over 14 million daily listeners.
Louise credits BCFE with giving her the skills to break into a career in radio and urges anyone with similar aspirations to explore their options at the college.
“If you know what you want to do, and that happens to be media, you have to go to BCFE! It’s such a grounding, hands on and practical college. There is nothing else out there like it or comparable to it.”
The radio star also offers those considering their options to consider Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.
“There are so many big established universities that are fantastic, but that doesn’t mean that they are right for you or for what you want to achieve in life. Further education and training colleges like BCFE can offer a more valuable experience and are the right option for a huge variety of courses. Find yours!”
To find out more about courses anywhere across the country head to www.fetchcourses.ie and begin your journey.