It’s the radio coup of the lockdown.
When the presenter of a Dublin breakfast programme realized Hollywood actor Matt Damon was in quarantine within the prosperous suburb of Dalkey, he spent six weeks tirelessly campaigning for an interview.
It was by no means a severe request although, admitted Nathan O’Reilly.
So he and co-host Graham O’Toole had been shocked when Damon’s assistant referred to as to ask when he might go on air.
‘I’m about to throw up’
Mr O’Reilly instructed the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme he and his co-host initially thought it was a prank.
“He said: ‘Guys, Matt has been listening to the show. He wants to come on.’
“I checked out Graham and mentioned: ‘Are you pranking me?’ And then Graham thought I used to be pranking him.”
But when the A-listener did indeed call in to SPIN 1038 via video-link on Wednesday morning, Mr O’Reilly realised it was real, and told the actor: “I really feel like I’m about to throw up.”
“I used to be simply flinging phrases at Matt,” he said of his interviewing technique.
“I knew Matt Damon was in Dalkey, however I by no means anticipated we’d get him on the present.”
He described the interview as “the traditional story of the tall man with the dream”.
Mr O’Reilly explained that he first heard Damon had flown into Dublin with his wife, Luciana Barrosa, and their children in early March to film Ridley Scott’s new film The Last Duel.
Almost immediately, production was shut down under Covid-19 restrictions and the actor and his family have been living in Formula 1 star Eddie Irvine’s house ever since.
‘Not going to happen’
Mr O’Reilly heard of members of the public who had spotted or met Damon and invited them on his show.
“I began getting individuals on the present who had met Matt Damon both jogging, in a park, or seeing him swim, however all of the tales weren’t main us any nearer, they had been simply attention-grabbing tales,” he said.
“We did it for almost six weeks after which I accepted defeat. I mentioned: ‘It’s not going to occur.'”
When he did lastly call in, Damon instructed the presenters, he had heard them within the automotive a month in the past.
“I was in the car with my kids and I heard you talking about all this stuff, and you guys gave the number to call in,” he mentioned.
“And I was trying to memorise the number, and then I walked into the house and my wife started talking about something and I totally forgot your number.”
Since then, each time the Bourne Identity star had been listening to the station within the automotive he had listened out for the quantity.
Then his spouse suggested him to look SPIN 1038 up on-line.
“She’s like: ‘You’re such an idiot, just like look up their number, you don’t have to wait for them to say it!'”
He additionally instructed the radio hosts that U2 frontman Bono – who lives close by – talked about the attraction to him.
“He said to me last week: ‘You know there’s a radio station that’s looking for you.'”
“I was like: ‘I really gotta track those guys down, I gotta call into that show. It’s gone on too long.'”
Mr O’Reilly joked that he had beforehand been kicked out of a Dalkey residents’ Facebook group after sharing his attraction with the locals.
Sightings of the actor had been making a stir within the space for weeks. Dublin mum Siobhan Berry noticed him after a household swim with her kids and requested for an image.
The photograph of Damon holding luggage from a widely known Irish grocery store chain was broadly shared on social media.
She and her husband initially agreed to not share the photograph publicly, however after listening to the interview, she modified her thoughts.
“You may have seen this photo doing the rounds of late,” she tweeted.
“As he confirmed on the radio, he was holding a bag of wet swim gear and towels – not cans!!”