Paul Martin McLoone (born 11 February 1967) is an Irish singer, producer, voice actor and radio presenter best known for being the original co-creator of the very successful and popular Irish comedy sketch series, Gift Grub and who is also currently the lead vocalist/frontman for the Northern Irish pop-punk/new-wave band The Undertones, having permanently replaced Feargal Sharkey when the band reunited for a series of live appearances in November 1999. He also hosts the weekday evening radio programme on the Irish national and independent radio station, Today FM titled "The Paul McLoone Show" which broadcasts from Dublin every Monday to Thursday from 9pm to midnight and which is well known in Ireland for focusing on less-known Irish solo singers or bands as well as bands and musicians from various countries such as America or Great Britain who are very popular in the alternate and indie rock world but who have yet to crack the mainstream line of the music industry with the show even playing songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s as well as songs from the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s
Since January 2015, McLoone has hosted a radio program titled "Another Side" on TXFM (formerly Phantom FM), a radio station that broadcasts to Dublin City and its surrounding areas and which is also a sister station to Today FM. The program which first began on Saturday January 17, 2015 airs for one hour at 6pm up until 7pm every Saturday night while being repeated every Sunday night from 10pm to 11pm. The show itself is dedicated to giving an in-depth profile of a single major musician or band by playing various songs associated with the band or musician's career including ones that may not have been released as a single.
In addition, McLoone also currently serves as the M.C.- master of ceremonies or presenter for the Choice Music Prize, an annual ceremony that takes place in Dublin every year and ultimately involves the Choice Music Prize being given to the band or artist from Ireland whose album has become the best selling album and is also deemed worthy of the prize by a group of judges from all aspects of Irish media with McLoone having made his debut at the 2011 ceremony which took place in 2012.
He also appears in "Skunk Fu", voicing Baboon.
A native of Derry's Bogside, McLoone originally began his career back in the late 1980s. He first appeared on Gerry Anderson (broadcaster)'s show on BBC Radio Foyle back in 1985 when McLoone who was seventeen years old at the time successfully impersonated Prince Charles in a radio interview with Anderson which in turn launched McLoone's own career in radio with Anderson also serving as McLoone's radio mentor.
McLoone later performed in one band, The Carrellines alongside future Undertones band member, drummer Billy Doherty in the late 1980s with McLoone serving as the frontman/lead vocalist and guitarist for the Carrellines. After the Carrelllines broke up, McLoone managed another band, Schtum which disbanded while the group were touring America.
As such, McLoone eventually became a producer and was later involved in producing various programmes for the BBC, including his own satirical sketch series McLoone which ran for three series in the early 1990s on BBC Radio Foyle.
During March 1999, McLoone moved to the southern part of the country, the Republic of Ireland, settling in the capital city, Dublin. He later joined Today FM and became a producer on the The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, the flagship breakfast program for Today FM, choosing New Order- Regret (New Order song) as the show's theme music.
While working as a producer on the show, McLoone also co-created and co-wrote the highly successful and very popular comedy Irish sketch series, Gift Grub with McLoone working on the breakfast show and Gift Grub for five years as well as participating in the sketch series alongside Irish comedian, Mario Rosenstock until McLoone resigned as a producer from the show in 2004 which also saw him leaving Today FM as well.
For the next two years, McLoone went freelance, working with various TV/radio stations including the Irish national broadcaster, RTE with McLoone for a time working on its two popular radio stations, RTE Radio 1 and RTE 2FM.
In 2006, Today FM DJ Tom Dunne contacted McLoone, asking McLoone to serve as a producer for Dunne's show, "Pet Sounds". McLoone accepted and as such, became a producer of Dunne's show, a role that marked his return to Today FM.
Two years later in August 2008, having hosted his show for ten years, Dunne quit Today FM to join national rival station, Newstalk. With the position that Dunne had previously held now vacant, McLoone was left with what to do in regards to his own future at Today FM and chose to ultimately approached the main Today FM staff, asking to take over the role himself. The staff accepted with McLoone becoming a radio DJ, abandoning his position as producer.
At first, McLoone's role was supposed to be temporary as it was originally intended to last for three months but due to the increasing popularity associated with him and his unnamed show, McLoone later became a permanent presenter in his own right while he also became the official and permanent replacement for Dunne. As such, McLoone's own show, "The Paul McLoone Show" was created, replacing the original "Pet Sounds" with McLoone making his on-air debut during September 2008.
For the first few years, the show originally aired from 7pm to 10pm and then from 7pm to midnight but following the arrival of Cork DJ Colm O'Sullivan from Red FM which occurred in February 2013 with O'Sullivan's show, "The Mix-Up" premiering on Monday February 4, 2013, McLoone's show was given a new time of airing from 9pm to midnight which to this day is the show's current timeslot. On Thursday August 27, 2015, the Mix-Up came to an end due to O'Sullivan announcing that he was retiring after nearly twenty years of being on air and having been appointed the new Program Director for Today FM with former iRadio DJ Fergal D'arcy now in the slot left vacant by O'Sullivan's departure.
Like Dunne before him, in the event that McLoone is off on holidays, filing in for another Today DJ or away performing gigs with the Undertones, Dave Couse, the former frontman for A-House occasionally fills in for McLoone.
In an interview for Derry Journal in April 2014 McLoone explains why he's an "accidental radio star".
A regular nominee, McLonne won two PPI Radio Awards in 2012, a gold for Specialist Music Broadcaster Of The Year, and a bronze for New Irish Music/Musical Talent Programme in his role as organiser and also as the main presenter of the Meteor Choice Music Prize awards ceremony held in Dublin each year; and a silver in the Specialist Music Programme category in both 2013 and 2014.
McLoone's interviewer from In Dublin magazine for Radio Month 2014 introduced him as "one of the most instantly recognisable voices on Ireland's airwaves".
In the world of animation, McLoone has been involved as a writer and creative consultant on the Jam Media series Funky Fables, and their BAFTA Drama Award winning series, Roy (both for CBBC).
McLoone also appeared in the film, Sunset Heights where he played Dingo Green. The movie which was released in 2002 was also featured in a Top 100 list for IMDB.
He stars as an aspiring Elvis impersonator in the music video for Cherry Bomb, a song by Irish rock band, The Minutes which was released in March 2014.
He provided the voice of "Baboon" in the Cartoon Saloon series Skunk Fu! and will return to voice the character Baboon in Castaras, a dark cartoon crossover that is set to air in or around 2016 or later.
After splitting in 1983, the Undertones chose to reform in November 1999 but when original frontman Fergal Sharkey turned down the offer to join the band, McLoone was asked to join the group and accepted, resulting in McLoone becoming the new frontman for the Undertones. As such, intermittent live appearances followed, such as the energetic concert in Termon Hall, Donegal in 2001. McLoone had previously fronted a hotly tipped band with Undertones drummer, Billy Doherty, in the late 80s, which was called the Carrellines. Doherty and McLoone partnered again as producers at their recording studio, Big River Records in Derry, facilitating local punk band Schtum to make several acclaimed singles before their 1995 signup with Columbia/Sony.
McLoone later went on to record two studio albums with the Undertones, Get What You Need (2003) and Dig Yourself Deep (2007). For Record Store Day, 20 April 2013, the band released a new single, "Much Too Late"/ "When It Hurts I Count To Ten". To coincide with the launch in June 2013 of their CD/DVD An Introduction to the Undertones the band undertook a European summer tour and continue to tour in subsequent years.
Since reforming, the Undertones have continued to perform regular gigs all over the world with McLoone as the new permanent frontman. They also retain a considerable live following at their concerts, which usually take place at weekends around members' day jobs, as McLoone explained for a lengthy 2015 writewyattuk blog interview. Audiences are also typically receptive towards McLoone as the band's current frontman.
McLoone lives in Dublin and has two sons.
He has also spoken about his battle with depression which he was diagnosed with in the aftermath of his parents dying and has also stated that he has given up smoking as well to help combat his depression.