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Frankie Byrne

Ireland's first and Radio Éireann's own agony aunt, Frankie Byrne, whose legendary programme with its 'Dear Frankie' letters of advice was broadcast from 1963 to 1985.

Frankie, whose reams of advice, whose voice and Frank Sinatra records became a national broadcasting symbol in the 1960's and 70's is remembered on the programme by five fans and by her producer Bill O'Donovan. The programme also features archive memories of Frankie's broadcasting career, which came to a close in 1985 - eight years before her death in December 1993 - at the age of 71 years.

Contributors to the programme say: "Her agony aunt programme was sponsored by Jacobs, whose motto was 'we bake better biscuits better every day'.

Bush Radio

Bush VHF 90A
Built 1958. An AC/DC mains powered FM superhet in a Bakelite cabinet measuring 230mm x 340mm x 165mm. Wavebands : VHF 88Mc-100Mc Valves : Mullard UCC85, UF89, UF89, UF89, UABC80, UL84

Press button on left to play recording

Frankie reads some typical letters - includes the following songs by Frank Sinatra

  • It happened In Monterey
  • Chicago
  • Come Fly With Me

In her programmes, there were people who wrote in with romantic problems. A typical letter would be from a woman who was never bought a meal by her stingy boyfriend. And Frankie would say that she was sure the person must be fed up going for walks and eating chips out of a bag. She said "he should take you in to a café for a cup of tea at least"". Tim Aherne (Tralee) "

"A question asked was often like - 'I'm going out with this fellow for the last seventeen years. If we go to town and pass a jeweller shop, we're probably like Ronnie Delany galloping past it. Do you think he has any interest in marrying me?' or she'd be asked, 'I'm going out with this boy for eighteen months. Last night at the pictures he put his hand on my knee. I'm really worried I might be pregnant' - and Frankie would come back with something like - 'Discuss this problem with your mother - I'm sure she can give you better advice on this than I can' ". Brid Coveney, (Youghal)