'It’s just bonkers!': Why Lucy Kennedy is just one of us

'It’s just bonkers!': Why Lucy Kennedy is just one of us

Lucy Kennedy wrapped up her second children’s book — as she presented her radio show from her dining room. She talks work, kids and lockdown with Paula Burns.

It has been quite an extraordinary few weeks — or as Lucy Kennedy eloquently puts it, “It’s just bonkers!” Just like all of us the main thing on her mind is the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a mother of three — Jack 10, Holly seven and Jess, three — Lucy’s life is an obstacle course of multi-tasking between work and keeping the kids entertained.

Luckily, thanks to the forward-thinking organisation of her bosses at Radio Nova, Kennedy has had the pleasure of hosting her breakfast morning show with Colm Hayes from her dining room while her kids sleep upstairs.

“I’m here in my dinning room, scaring the neighbours dressed like ET, in my PJs, slippers and no bra on,” she says, her unmistakable husky laugh booming down the phone.

This endearing quality of being herself is what immediately puts people at ease, something only a few are gifted with.

It’s this realness and down to earth approach that has allowed Kennedy unlimited access to celebrities in her hit show Livin’ With Lucy.

“All the English celebrities have been very taken aback when they meet me because I’m not what they expect. They’ve all been quite shocked that I’m the host, especially when I ask if I can go for a wee when I arrive,” laughs Kennedy.

Gemma Collins asked me is this you or presenting you. But I don’t go in there to present. I’m just normal and they relate to the normal.

Kennedy says everything you see on the show is real. They don’t edit to create a story. If there are awkward moments — such as the time Danniella Westbrook ignored her in a club in Marbella — it’s not cut from the final edit. Lucy prides herself on creating a series that shows exactly what it is like to live and spend a weekend with these celebrities.

Her dream Livin’ with Lucy would be Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella. “I’d love to live with Daniel, he has a wicked sense of humour.”

However, celebs such as the Kardashians would be a no go. “They wouldn’t show the real them so there would be no point.”

The new series, which is set to air in September on Virgin Media, promises a line-up Kennedy is eager to live with, even if it means being in isolation together.

We have Katie Price, I cannot wait to get into her house and clean it.

While I could go on all day getting the gossip on what it’s like to live with a celebrity the actual reason for chatting to Lucy is to talk about her new brand ambassadorship for the online retailer iClothing.com

“When I joined what was then TV3, now Virgin Media, six years ago iClothing was basically the TV3 shop,” she explains.

“Pretty much on day one I said what’s the story with the clothes, I love it.”

Over the next six years Kennedy continued to be impressed by how the Irish label grew and the style of clothes they were providing for ‘normal’ women just like her.

“I’ve seen the brand change over the years and introduce new labels and it is an online shop I trust,” she explains.

Like everyone I have bought clothes online that wouldn’t even fit my seven-year-old but that’s not the case with iClothing. I trust their sizing and people trust me as being the Irish Bridget Jones so it works.

Lucy is so trusting of the brand and loves the clothes so much that she has tried on everything currently available on the website. She is also willing to answer any queries shoppers may have. Proving yet again that she’s one of us.

"I mean it from the bottom of my heart if anybody wants to send me a message on Twitter or Instagram and ask questions about dress size I’ll be able to tell them honestly how it fits. I’m serious, I have tried everything on so I can help."

Being an Irish-owned retailer isn’t the only reason Kennedy was attracted to taking on the role of brand ambassador. For her iClothing is a brand that represents real women, women of her own age who like her have busy lives, real bodies, and who want to look good.

“You know I have a bit of a Jlo booty going on. Like most women I have a stomach and I have a bottom. iClothing cater for normal bodies. Their jumpsuits are very smart. The top is slightly bigger with a belt at the waist meaning it hides all the lumps and bumps making you feel good which is what we want from our clothes,” she says.

Being affordable is another reason Kennedy is so happy to represent the brand. Especially at the moment when people are worried about their financial stability she is happy to endorse a brand where you can get a dress and a pair of wedges for a total of €60.

“I’ve been approached by posh shops in the past but I’ve said no to working with them because I can’t relate to that. I don’t buy very expensive items because I can’t justify spending the money,” she says.

“We’re all in the same boat at the moment no matter what industry we’re in so I’m thrilled to work with a brand that people can afford. A maxi-dress for €40 is something I can relate to.”

Multi-tasking seems to be a forte of Kennedy’s. While she’s on the phone to me she is painting her nails and earlier while on air from her dining room she’s filling the dishwasher during ad breaks so it’s no surprise to hear she has just finished her second children’s book.

“Yes I just sent off the second Friendship Fairies book to Gill books,” she says. “I’ve been a mum for 10 years and I was always going to write a children’s book. Every year I told my husband, this is it, I’m doing it this year but then it wasn’t until Gill books approached me three years ago that I said yes, but I did ask them to wait a year, things were hectic at the time. And then literally to the day they got in contact. I was delighted!”

Writing the Friendship Fairies seems to be a really personal achievement for Kennedy. As she tells the story that while “sunbathing topless on holidays” she burst into to tears when she was emailed the final cover, demonstrating just how emotional it was for her.

“I don’t know what it was about seeing the cover that made me so emotional. I think being one of three girls, where the name Kennedy won’t be carried on but it was there in print meant something.”

Even over the phone, during a time of uncertainty Kennedy was the normality I had been seeking all week.

In Ireland we are very quick to judge those in the limelight. We don’t like our ‘celebs’ to reveal any signs of cockiness. In her fifteen-year career Kennedy has nailed the relatable celeb vibe without it being contrived

She’s just being her.

Her innate confidence to just be her is what she credits for her career longevity. And I have to say as a woman in my early forties it’s refreshing and dare I say comforting to see someone on the telly that I can relate to.

“I never once thought to change. I think that has been the reason I’m still busy. I’m still me and I just do what I would naturally do,” she explains.

There is a shyness in me, red carpets give me the heebie-jeebies but I’m comfortable in my own skin and I always have been. This is something I want to instil in my kids.

“You have to trust yourself.”

With an ethos like that it’s easy to see why iClothing have chosen Lucy Kennedy as their first brand ambassador. Her attitude to life is refreshing just as their clothes are. I think this could be a match made in sartorial heaven. Check out iClothing.com for more

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