RTÉ 2FM DJ and music aficionado Tracy Clifford hosts The Ultimate Irish Playlist on Halloween night and she reckons that while the final twenty songs voted for by the public "might polarize people", we will "all know the words to each song off by heart".

It's hard to believe that this Monday night Tracy Clifford will host her first primetime TV show on RTÉ.

The Dublin native has been broadcasting on the national airwaves for the past seven years and has a stellar CV of over 20 years in the radio industry behind her.

This Halloween night she makes the leap to the big screen. Some might say scary - given the night that's in it - but despite letting out a "visceral scream" when she saw it being advertised for the first time, the excitement emanating from Clifford when she chats to RTÉ Entertainment is infectious.

"I am delighted with it [The Ultimate Irish Playlist]" she declares.

"I was so focused on filming the show, that when I saw the ad, I thought 'Wow, this is on the telly, people are going to see it for real'. I ran out of the room and let out a visceral scream. But I absolutely love doing telly and 100% want to do more."

The Ultimate Irish Playlist is a celebration of the greatest Irish hits of all time counting down the top 20 songs as voted by the public.

Following a nationwide campaign, the 2FM listeners have had the final say and over 100,000 votes were received.

Coming up with the 60 songs that were on the list for the public vote was no mean feat, with a "strong debate" breaking out among the 2FM DJs about which songs would make the final cut.

The Ultimate Irish Playlist is presented by Tracy Clifford with Ruth Anne and Dave Fanning on the expert music panel

"It was so hard, every DJ from 2FM loves a different genre of music," explains Tracy

"Everyone from across the station had their say. There was the breakfast team, Tara Kumar when she was with us, Emma Power, the music director, the big producers and me. And of course Dan Hegarty, Cormac Battle and Dave Fanning – the absolute OGs.

"We had hundreds and hundreds. And we were all trying to influence our own personal tastes. And then we had to think about the listener. Let's just say it was a "strong debate".

The show was filmed over two days at The Helix in Dublin and before she stood in front of the cameras, Clifford sought some advice from her 2FM colleague Jennifer Zamparelli.

"She said once you feel that you look good, you will be great. You just got to be confident in your make-up and hair. You know your stuff, you know your script, practice it and you will nail it," Clifford reveals.

"If you feel you are rocking your outfit, rocking your vibe you will be great."

"I know the songs off by heart even though they might be on my Spotify playlist."

A number of great Irish singers and bands joined Clifford in the Helix to play some of the songs in the top 20.

"The list of 20 is so representative, you will watch the programme and be like why is this not in it – but of course, there are only 20 songs," says Clifford.

"We are a nation of singers and musicians, and I think music gets us through everything.

"Every single song on the list you know it off by heart. You know it through osmosis. Everybody will know the songs.

"You might not like the songs, and it might polarize people," adds Clifford.

"I know the songs off by heart even though they might be on my Spotify playlist."

So who will be in the top spot? Will it be U2? The Cranberries? Sinéad O’Connor? Or Christy Moore? Tune in to The Ultimate Irish Playlist on RTÉ One at 9:35pm to find out.

Check out The Ultimate Irish Playlist - The 2FM Podcast to get yourself in the groove for Monday night:

The Ultimate Irish Playlist - The 2FM Podcast: Episode 1

The Ultimate Irish Playlist - The 2FM Podcast: Episode 2

The Ultimate Irish Playlist - The 2FM Podcast: Episode 3

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