2021 is almost over and for all the uncertainty of the year that was, there’s one thing Covid will never disrupt – The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show End Of Year Poll!
It’s been another unusual 12 months, but despite the bumps in the road we did get a taste for the things we missed in 2020. There were holidays abroad, families reunited, matches, gigs and weddings to beat the band. Ireland celebrated huge highs in sport, while TV and film made a triumphant comeback. Music and podcasts kept us company on those many lockdown walks and books gave us a welcome escape when it all got a bit much.
Now it's time to celebrate the things that kept us going, gave us a lift and made the year what it was!
You’ve been casting your votes all month and the results are finally in. So, in no particular order, here are the winners of 2021, as voted for by the listeners of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show.
Woman of the Year: Kellie Harrington
The phrase ‘national treasure’ is thrown around a lot, but boxer Kellie Harrington sure earned that honour this year. Ireland’s Olympic gold-medal hopeful Kellie carried the weight of the nation on her shoulders to Tokyo and came out on top. The country fell in love with her personality, her good humour and her family. We know we weren’t the only ones who shed a tear watching the celebrations in Dublin’s Portland Row as she won her final fight. Kellie abú!
Men of the Year: Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy
Because who could pick just one?! Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy made history when they rowed to victory in the Olympic lightweight double sculls this summer, and broke a world record along the way. The pair brought glory to Skibbereen yet again, but it was their cool, nonchalant demeanor that had us most impressed. We’re sure Paul also earned some bonus points for his impressive hair growth since the last Olympics. H’up the lads!
Song of the Year: Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran
As many artists spent lockdown penning new tunes, 2021 was abuzz with new releases from some huge acts. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ not only caught our attention because of Ed’s vampire fangs, it was also insanely catchy! Six months since its release, listeners still love it, voting it Song of the Year.
Irish Song of the Year: Better Days – Dermot Kennedy
Reigning champion Dermot Kennedy does it again! This is Dermot’s second year in a row winning Irish Song of the Year. Released back in July, the pandemic-inspired ‘Better Days’ gave us some much-needed hope as Ireland emerged from months of lockdown. It’s also got that signature Dermot belt, so what’s not to love?
Album of the Year: 30 – Adele
Only Adele could create such hype around an album release and still deliver the goods. There was the Oprah interview, the LA open-air performance and the single, ‘Easy On Me’. 30 induced snotty-nosed sob-fests, but listeners of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show wouldn’t change a thing. It was a decisive winner of Album of the Year!
Book of the Year: Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
Just like Adele, Aisling also made a comeback this year, right when we needed her most! Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen’s Oh My God What A Complete Aisling franchise is the comfort-read you need in a pandemic. In this new edition, Covid is nowhere to be seen as Aisling jets off to start a new life in America, eyeing up the local firemen. Another hit for the OMGWACA creators!
TV Show of the Year: Succession
TV shows were a lifeline at the start of the year as we all stretched the arse out of our tracksuit bottoms for another few months of lockdown. However, it was the later releases that had listeners of The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show most enthralled. Succession beat out fierce competition from Squid Game, Kin and Mare of Eastown to win TV Show of the Year, proving Logan Roy has even more sway than we realized.
Podcast of the Year: The 2 Johnnies Podcast
Podcast hosts were the friends we couldn’t see for many months of the year, accompanying us on walk after walk during lockdown. Besties themselves, The 2 Johnnies were the perfect company for many as they topped the podcast charts week after week. More importantly, Today FM listeners have voted them Podcast of the Year for the third year running!
Sports Moment of the Year: Kellie Harrington Winning Olympic Gold
It’s a double-win for Kellie Harrington in this year’s poll. ‘Hakuna Matata’ was her catchphrase as she faced her final Olympic fight in Toyko this summer, and worry she did not! Her winning moment would turn out to be listeners’ Sports Moment of the Year, with thousands getting up in the early hours of the morning to watch Kellie make history in the ring. In a year of sporting highs, Kellie came out on top.
Word of the Year: Vaccine
Back in January, the country had their eyes on the prize - the vaccine. Even now, 12 months later, it’s booster time as the rollout rolls on and ‘vaccine’ becomes Word of the Year. We’d take anything over last year’s word – ‘lockdown’!
Gift Grub of the Year: Ronan Keating Stands Accused Of Song Hijacking
The Last Word’s Court Reporter Frank Greaney made his Gift Grub debut in this sketch, where he covered the trial of Ronan Keating. Ronan was accused of hijacking, torturing and murdering up to twelve songs in his latest album, Songs From Home. Matt Cooper pushed Frank to deliver for all the gory details, leaving listeners in stitches.
Breakfast Show Moment Of The Year: Shauna O’Reilly’s Emotional Farewell To The Show
If Adele’s album didn’t have you in floods, then our Breakfast Show Moment of the Year surely did. Back in April, the one and only Shauna O’Reilly announced her departure from the Breakfast Show crew and listeners were in bits. From Shaz AM to showbiz, singles nights to school visits, Shauna was a legend of the show and much-loved among listeners. The love poured in for her on her final day and she even ended up trending on Twitter; now, that’s a send-off!
My secret is out! 😭 After 6 amazing years (having the absolute craic) working on The @IanDempsey Breakfast Show, I’m breaking up with my alarm clock and moving to Carlow. I’m an emotional wreck to be leaving the lads but excited for the future too. pic.twitter.com/AzTFRlBguU
— Shauna O'Reilly (@grandantor) April 20, 2021