‘We have the best listeners in the world’ – Christmas FM beats target to raise over €160,000 during 12-hour charity radiothon

Seasonal radio favourite Christmas FM has beaten its target of raising €150,000 for charity today, with donations from listeners totalling €161,486 for some of Ireland’s biggest children’s charities.

roadcasting from the Clayton Hotel, well-known faces were dropping in to the studio all day during the 12-hour radiothon, including comedian Michael Fry, podcaster James Kavanagh, ex-love islander Shannon Reilly McGrath and Dancing with the stars Hughie Maughan.

There was also strong online support including retweets from Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood.

By lunchtime, €75,000 had been raised for Barnardos, Barretstown, Make-A-Wish Ireland and The Community Foundation for Ireland through The Magic of Christmas initiative, and by the 7pm deadline this had grown to €161,486.

“We have the very best listeners in the world,” the station said in a tweet.

“Thank you for your kindness, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Christmas FM was set up 15 years ago to raise money for charity each December, and since 2008 has racked up nearly €3million for various good causes.

It is on air every  from November 27 to December 27, and online all year around.

For thousands of families in Ireland each year hearing their names read out on air has become part of their festive celebrations and, increasingly, the station is building up a loyal following of listeners abroad.

Traditionally this was the Irish abroad tuning in, but in recent years many listeners have no Irish link and just enjoy the festive mood and music.

Over 6,000 listeners abroad have emailed the station this year to say how much they love it.

And Christmas FM is big in Japan with hundreds of streams each day with increasing interest from far-flung places including Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Zambia, Malawi and Lapland.

Darragh O’Sullivan, one of the four Christmas FM founders, said the team were “simply blown away” by the support of the listeners so far today.

Donations can be made through the Christmas FM website or by calling 0818 911 977.

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