The shape I’m in: RTÉ journalist Conor Brophy

RTÉ journalist Conor Brophy has a secret weapon: the power nap. On the days he is working on Morning Ireland, he’s up at 4.45am and will usually find time to squeeze in a reboot snooze.

The shape I’m in: RTÉ journalist Conor Brophy

“I try to grab a 20-minute cat nap in the middle of the day and I’ll be right as rain. That works for me,” he says.

During the week he gets between six and eight hours a night, but will catch up over the weekends. “When you are up at 4.30 or 4.45 it is difficult to get a full night’s sleep in... Towards the end of the week I get a little big lethargic.”

He will need to re-set his body clock when presenting the new series, The Media Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Sundays at 7pm — an off-road look at print, broadcast and on-line media.

Cutting his teeth at The Sunday Tribune, he believes there is room for all media formats — old and new.

“We’ve seen great and innovative ways for people to tell stories — there are some great media start ups and established digital media players out there but you’d like to think it’s a broad church and there is room for all the disciples.”

However, monetising online media is another matter.

“Obviously we all have that huge question over can we make digital pay ... hopefully there are enough examples out there that when the content and stories are good enough then people will pay for them.”

Aged 38, he lives in Dublin with his partner and their five-year-old daughter.

What shape are you in?

Pretty good shape. At the moment I’m coming back from a knee injury which I got four or five weeks ago from over training. I was off running for most of the month of December.

I try to run about three times a week. In a good week, I go to gym about twice. I mix it up. I do one short fast run of say two to three miles. I do a medium run of about four miles and then I try and do a distance run at the weekend. I am hoping to do a couple of half marathons this year.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat a pretty balanced diet on the whole — I am very good with fruit and veg. I tend to vary it. In terms of protein, I wouldn’t eat the same meats all the time. I try and eat a lot of fish.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

I have a weakness for crisps, peanuts and rocky roads — chocolate, marshmallow and nuts all in the same treat, that’s right up my alley.

What would keep you awake at night?

I am really good sleeper. I’m lucky because I have a lot of early starts at work. And I don’t tend to lay awake at night thinking about things to be honest with you.

How do you relax?

I find that reading a book is great. I just love that idea of switching off the world you’re in and immersing yourself into another one. I’m reading a really good book at the moment: I Am Pilgrim, a thriller by Terry Hayes. I’ll read something a little more worthy after I’ve finished with this.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

You’d have to have Jay Gatsby (from the novel The Great Gatsby) now he throws a great party. Also, Nelson Mandela and Tina Fey.

What’s your favourite smell?

A newborn baby in a new car. A perfect combination.

What would you change about your appearance?

I’m not particularly hung up about it, but I would love to have my teeth straightened. My two front teeth overlap. When you have other financial clashes, orthodontic treatments for yourself go way down the list.

When did you last cry?

Recently while watching the coverage of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. I found that very sad and moving. There was one particular still photograph of two children holding hands in the camp — I just found that very tough to take.

What trait do you least like in others?


What trait do you least like in yourself?

I’m impatient at times.

Do you pray?

I don’t. I try and reflect and meditate — quiet time. It’s important I to have that time to clear your head. That’s one of the reasons I like running. When you are only focussing on putting one foot in front of the other, it’s a really good way to clear your head and manage your mental health.

What would cheer up your day?

Spending time with my family. We take our daughter swimming every weekend. She gets so much out of that and we get so much out how much she enjoys it. That’s when I’m happiest.

More in this section


Did you miss our Virtual Event with Alison O’Connor, Aoife Moore, Clodagh Finn, Derval O’Rourke and Vicky Phelan