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NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock Host Fiona Ritchie. (ⓒRoy Summers/Scottish Field )

'The Thistle & Shamrock' Host ProFile, Straight From The Scottish Highlands

Mar 15, 2013

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NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock Host Fiona Ritchie. NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock Host Fiona Ritchie.

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Fiona Ritchie

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in true public radio form - a conversation with the award-winning host of NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock. Fiona Ritchie has spent more than 30 years digging into the evolving Celtic music tradition, bringing public radio listeners well-established and newly emerging recording artists in Europe and North America.Today, we got her to dish on the Irish, her children and NPR, too.

My name... Fiona Ritchie
Public radio listener since... 1981
NPR employee since... I signed my first contract with NPR in 1990, although I've been broadcasting nationally on public radio since 1983.
My job at NPR is... creating music radio, web streams, podcasts from the heart of Scotland for NPR. Music fights for our attention from every media outlet. I want to guide our listeners through it all by leading them straight to authentic, passionate music and to the innovative artists and tradition-bearers who make it.

My favorite traditional Irish tune is... Cumha Eoghan Ruaidh U Nill (Lament for Owen Roe O'Neill).

The Celtic instrument I could listen to forever is... the sound of a pure unaccompanied voice, singing in Irish or in Scots Gaelic.

Ask Me Another question about... the best tea rooms, coffee shops and home baking in Perthshire (Scotland).

Of all of the Irish cuisine I've tried, I enjoy... colcannon ["white-headed cabbage"] or freshly baked Irish soda bread the most.

The color green makes me think of... home.

When I tell people I work for NPR, they often say... where's that? (I live in Scotland).

In my suitcase, you'll find... a flat-packed spare holdall to cope with the fact that luggage always expands before the return journey. [Editors Note: For those of you on this side of the Pond, a 'holdall' is bag.]

I'm not as... sensible ...as I sound.

I always smile when... I'm trying very hard to convey a disapproving expression to my children.

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