I've never fallen for a food fad: RTE's Maggie Doyle on eating for pleasure

It's not all research, deadlines and live broadcasts for RTÉ’s Maggie Doyle. For downtime, there’s nothing more she loves to do than to put on her pinny, whip out the food mixer and bake.

I've never fallen for a food fad: RTE's Maggie Doyle on eating for pleasure

It's not all research, deadlines and live broadcasts for RTÉ’s Maggie Doyle. For downtime, there’s nothing more she loves to do than to put on her pinny, whip out the food mixer and bake. She’s also more than happy to share the results.

“I made some lovely rocky roads for a bake sale we had here at work and they went down a treat and I have to say they were gorgeous,” she says.

The love of baking started at home in her native Co Wexford when her mother and two older sisters would regularly roll up their sleeves and bake for hours.

“Every second Saturday it was a baking marathon — everything would be baked, an apple tart a fruit cake and plain buns or queen cakes with no icing on them.”

Since returning two years ago to Ireland from Kent, where she worked for BBC radio, she’s taken up golf. It’s all good green fun until someone refers to her playing strengths.

“Some of the ladies I play with will say to me, ‘Oh, you’ve got a very good eye for it you’re going to be a great golfer, which is the worst thing you can say halfway around the course because then I’ll absolutely flummox the rest of the shots.”

Tune into Maggie on The Ryan Tubridy Show, RTE Radio One, from Monday, July 22, as she fills in for Ryan

What shape are you in?

I’m in pretty good shape. But, having watched some of the Women’s World Cup and recently Wimbledon, I wish I was fitter. You see the toned legs and the toned arms and you have great hopes for yourself.

I don’t have a routine — I’m not a gym bunny. I have in the past tried the gym and I just don’t think it’s for me. I like to go for a walk and I try and stick to my yoga class once a week and try to do some yoga at home as well. Golf is the only sport I’m into.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

At this time of the year, I try and eat more salads. I love berries. Being from Wexford, I think I probably eat strawberries every single day at the moment. I’m not strict on myself when it comes to eating. If I want a burger, I’ll have a burger and I’ll have chips on the side. I’ve never fallen for a food fad.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I’m a big lover of cheese. And I’ve a sweet tooth. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to chocolate — I tend to go for the 70 or 80% cocoa content — and have one square of it. Having said that, I’ve been known to scoff a Star Bar or a Twix, no problem at all.

What would keep you awake at night?

I sleep soundly. I’m very lucky because I’ve done mayears of various early shifts, getting up at the crack of dawn.

How do you relax?

Relaxing is definitely feet up on the couch and watching something — The Handmaid’s Tale or Fleabag — I love watching good binge-worthy TV. We went away on holidays in May and since then I haven’t been without a book which is great. I love getting lost in a good story.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Melania Trump, Meryl Streep, Queen Elizabeth, the Pope, Roy Keane, Graham Norton and Bruce Springsteen to provide the music.

What’s your favourite smell?

There’s something about the smell of a summer’s evening — it’s the possibility of anything happening. I don’t know if it takes me back to being on the cusp of becoming an adult, but there’s always excitement in the air.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

Nothing. Sadly as women we’re under huge pressure all the time about our appearance. If you start going down that route it’s a slippery slope.

When is the last time you cried?

It doesn’t take much at all to send me over the edge. I was very close to welled up at Croke Park recently when Wexford won. It was my first time to watch a GAA match in Croke Park in many, many years.

What traits do you least like in others?

Jealously.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

If I decide on something it has to be done immediately which is really silly. It’s always better to stop, look and listen, wait. It’s almost like crossing the road.

Do you pray?

Sometimes I will say a few words to people close to me who I have lost. Unfortunately, my grandparents have been gone a long time and none of them has heard me on the radio.

What would cheer up your day?

If Met Éireann was to tell us there was going to be clear sunshine and hottish weather for the next five to six weeks.

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