I believe that luck and chance are the things that shape our lives.
I’ve certainly been lucky.
I was an outgoing child but didn’t like the school structure, yet I ended up as a teacher, having done a BA in history and Irish, and enjoyed every second of the job.
I also worked on the ferry boats to the Blaskets and in Duffy’s Circus, translating the ring master’s words into Irish.
A career in broadcasting wasn’t even close to my radar until TG4 asked me to read the weather. I was curious, so I said yes.
I’m only nervous when I’m unprepared.
That goes for everything, from presenting the Today show to The Rose of Tralee.
Once I’m prepped, I can go on stage with the power of confidence.
You can’t prepare for every eventuality so common sense is important. After ten years of live TV, some days you forget you’re on air at all.
It feels like you are only having a conversation. The most important skill is to listen.
When the guest comes on, it is their time. Our job is to keep the ball in the air.
We know 90% of the answers, so there’s an art to asking questions to which you already know the answer.
In the beginning, I was puzzled by some of the comments people made about me, especially on social media.
After my father passed away there were comments from viewers saying they wished I’d stop talking about it.
But I’ve learnt that what people think about me is none of my business.
The best advice I ever got? A pat on the back is only six inches from a kick in the arse.
I met my wife Rita when she was a contestant in The Rose of Tralee.
Now, she does all my bookings, you could say she’s my manager.
My idea of bliss is being home with Rita and our son Micheál eating popcorn and watching TV.
Or being out in the garden tending the fruit trees or pottering around in the shed.
I used to be obsessed with work until Micheál was born two years ago. That was a game changer.
I compare it to a description in jockey AP McCoy’s book: If he didn’t ride well in a race, all he wanted was to get back on a horse to do better.
I was like that. If I was pissed off at not having done an interview well, all I could think about was doing better tomorrow.
Now, the focus is on the family when I get home.
I’ve become organised. I make lists.
If I think of something I need to do, I write it down, and then I cross it off when it’s done.
It makes me feel better.
I’m a morning person and am usually up at 5am. But that means bed by 9pm.
To keep fit I have the Rose of Tralee diet! I drop a stone and a half before the event each year.
I’ve also started swimming at the weekends.
If money wasn’t an issue I’d be doing exactly the same thing.
But it would be great not to have the pressure of the mortgage. We’ve another 16 years to go.
I’ve always had strong views but I’m a freewheeler too, very willing to humour someone, to avoid a confrontation in the pub or wherever.
The trait that irritates me most about others is a personality vacuum, someone who sucks the life out of everything.
My biggest fault is that I can be intolerant.
I left a full time job in TG4 to work on a contract basis for RTÉ. So I’m only as good as my last job.
It is hard to be creative and to worry about your next job at the same time, yet that is what you have to do.
But you can’t let the worry eat away at you inside.
If that happens, it’s time to look for a different way of earning a living.
I moved to Dublin from Kerry, because Kerry was simply too far away from work, but after two years in Sandymount I felt like I was living in a cage.
I remember spending two-and-a-half hours getting to Woodies and back and thinking no, this can’t last.
Now, we live in a beautiful part of South County Galway.
I do believe in an afterlife. I go to Mass and I pray because it makes me feel good.
So far life has taught me that no matter what’s happening, the past is gone and future hasn’t happened yet, so we must deal with this present moment.