RTÉ Big Music Week is currently taking place with today's Ronan Collins show featuring musical performances from Neil Hannon, Aslan and May Kay.
RTÉ TEN caught up with Collins ahead of today's performances where he spoke about his successful show, Big Music Week and performing Joe Dolan's Songs.
He said: "I’m on five days a week, 12pm to 1pm on Radio One and I’m happy to say that it’s the most listened to music programme on radio in Ireland and once in a while we have done this over the years, where we’ve suggested using the orchestra and bringing in a few guests.
"That has expanded now because in RTÉ and particularly in radio, we have our Big Music Week. This is the second year of that and last year was a great success so we were asked would we do it again this year.
"It’s a great opportunity to expand the programme a little where I get to talk to the artist because usually I’m just playing their records and it also gives us a chance to get Irish artists to work with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra which is a great thrill.
"Those of us here in RTÉ are able to hear them all the time because they’re always in here, in studio, rehearsing for different shows and to actually get them to work on a project that has to be condensed into an hour is fantastic."
Speaking about his guests on the today's show, he said: “The rock element, Aslan, who are the quintessential rock band, they’ve been around for nearly thirty years now. Christy Dignam is still there despite all the ups and downs that he’s had through his life and Billy McGuinness is still disagreeing with him, which they’ve always done!
"We have Neil Hannon who is very much kind of a muso and things orchestral and things avant-guarde and things dandy. He’s got a wonderful way about him which I think is extraordinary and he just jumped at the opportunity to have the orchestra illustrate his music rather than just a smallish band.
"We also have May Kay, which is short for Mary Kate I think, she’s the singer with a band called Fight Like Apes who you won’t often hear on daytime Radio One. They’re very synthy, energy, almost punky, thrashy but today we’ll hear a much more gentle side of the vocal talent of May Kay.
"I’m going to sing myself only because I have a hard neck and a big mouth! I’ve done that for years anyway and I’m doing a show in the [National] Concert Hall this weekend, which is Joe Dolan's Songs. Joe was a great friend of mine, the show is just about the songs so I’m going to do Make Me An Island, with the orchestra, which was one of Joe’s signature songs."
Ronan will be performing Joe Dolan's Songs in Drogheda on Friday October 14, in the National Concert Hall on Sunday October 16, the Opera House in Cork on Monday November 21 and Wexford Opera House on Sunday November 27.