Irish broadcasters tell us what they'll be wearing for Christmas

Sinead Kennedy, Elaine Crowley, Blaithnaid Treacy and Lisa Cannon open up their Christmas Day wardrobes to Carolyn Moore.

Sinead Kennedy

Broadcaster

Even though I’ve a wardrobe full of them, I always feel the need to buy more sequins at Christmas. I saw this Topshop jacket online and thought “I have to have that”! That was the start of a month long search, because it was sold out, but I was like a kid at Christmas when it finally arrived.

I’ll wear it on Christmas day with my usual basics - black skinny jeans, and a black top. I prefer to keep it comfortable. When I was younger, buying the Christmas outfit used to be a big thing, but one year I realised, I’m calling to family, I don’t need to go all out. And these days I do a lot of driving, so I just want something comfortable, that I can pig out in, and relax and enjoy the day.

My Christmas has been the same for as long as I can remember - I’d travel home on Christmas Eve; be up early Christmas morning to exchange presents; then we’d drive to Tipperary for dinner in my grandmother’s. Last year, I slightly changed the plan and spent Christmas Eve in Dublin with my husband, Conor, which was quite controversial in the Kennedy household!

Before that, we’d never seen each other on Christmas day, so last year we stayed together to do his traditional Christmas Eve. We went out with his parents, went to mass with them, came home and had ham sandwiches in the middle of the night, delighted with life; then I got up Christmas morning and drove to my granny’s in Tipperary.

We’ve had Christmas dinner there for years - my parents, my siblings, my granny and my uncle. Other relatives drop in and out during the day, and we usually spend the evening in my aunt’s house. We have a nice set little routine, and it’s just a really nice time, I couldn’t miss it.

On a personal level I’d like to sort myself out in 2017; anchor myself in either Cork or Dublin, and start building a life with Conor. My family and my whole life is in Cork, but my job is in Dublin, and I’ve a lot of good friends there, so I’d hate to leave it, but I need to make a decision, start acting like a grown up and start planning, rather than living in limbo.

I’ve enjoyed working on new things in 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I love Winning Streak, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I love working with Marty, giving away a fortune, making dreams come true, but it’s nice to venture out and do other things. I did some documentaries this year - The Road to the Dome, and The Only Gay in the Village - and it was great to be able to explore that side of myself, and that side of the job; show people there’s a more serious side to me. I’m hoping for more of that next year, and I always hope I’ll do a little travelling, so fingers crossed.

  • Photographed in No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place. www.25fitzwilliamplace.ie
  • Hair: Emma Yourell for Peter Mark, Grafton Street.
  • Makeup: Amy O’Neill for Make Up For Ever. www.makeupforever.ie

Blaithnaid Treacy

Broadcaster

For Christmas day I’m wearing a nice festive red jumper I picked up in Topshop. It’s cosy and warm, but not too heavy - perfect for a day when turkeys are cooking and the house gets really hot. I’m wearing a skirt from H&M, some Topshop shoes - comfy but a little bit fancy! - and a pair of Topshop earrings.

I wanted to keep it a bit toned down. I’m all for a fun Christmas look, but I didn’t want to go too over the top. I’m the youngest of six, and my sister is pregnant with twins, so we’re about to welcome the 9th and 10th grandchildren. Christmas day will be busy, with lots of kids running around, ranging from 19 all the way down to zero!

They’ll all visit in the afternoon, and then there’ll usually be about 12 of us for dinner. We eat around six. Before that, my brothers will arrive and we’ll give out presents; Mum gets the turkey in the oven and dad gets the fire going. We might have a few little drinks, or go for a walk down Bray seafront, but I generally stay in the house because it’s nice and cosy.

I’ll give mum a hand in the kitchen, or I might watch a Christmas movie with some of the little ones. My mum is an amazing cook, so Christmas dinner is always gorgeous, and once dinner’s over, we basically have a big party. My brothers whip out the guitars, the wine is flowing, it’s great craic. The kids fall asleep, so we tuck them away and continue the session until the wee hours.

I started this year with a with a brand new radio show - the National Chart Show on 2FM - so that’s been one of my 2016 highlights, and for the first half of the year I was also working away on Two Tube, which finished up during the summer.

It’s the end of an era in many ways, and moving on to new things is exciting. I’ll be forever grateful for everything I learned; the amazing people I got to meet; the huge stars I got to interview. It was like a master class in broadcasting - you’re thrown in at the deep end and it’s sink or swim!

I have some new projects on the horizon for 2017, including a fashion show for TG4, so I’m going back to my roots and fully immersing myself in the Irish language. In many ways 2017 feels like the start of a whole new chapter for me. I’ll be working on different kinds of shows for more mature audiences, so it’s almost like I’m growing up a bit.

  • Photographed in Farrier & Draper, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. www.farrieranddraper.ie

Lisa Cannon

Broadcaster

My Christmas dress is by Alex Perry, and it’s from The Ivory Closet in Limerick.

I’m a sucker for black, and I love the Tom Ford look, so when I saw this on Jennifer Lopez on American Idol I thought it was incredible, and my red Jimmy Choos make it a little bit festive.

I chose this outfit because I’m going somewhere quite fancy for Christmas. My husband, Richard, and I are going to Mount Juliet in Kilkenny with my father.

It’s nice to get out of Dublin and be somewhere we’ll be looked after and not have to worry about Christmas dinner or burning the gravy or the carrots!

I have cooked Christmas dinner before, the year my mother passed away. It wasn’t the nicest Christmas because she passed away at the end of November. It was eight years ago, but it’s still a very hard time of year and I find going away takes a lot of the hassle out of it.

We went away for Christmas when my mother was unwell, she had cancer, so it’s always been part of our set-up. We enjoy getting away, and we enjoy planning it.

We’ve been everywhere — Claridges, The Dorchester, The K Club, Powerscourt, The Shelbourne. Some years it’s a small, intimate group, other years different people come along.

We’ve had Christmas with my granny, who passed away in April; we’ve been away with family. We mix it up.

We generally pack up the car and zip off on Christmas Eve, so we arrive for the carols and the mince pies. I love that part of it.

We put the presents under the tree in the room, and I have family photographs and things I put out to make it really special. We make it home. We enjoy getting dressed up for Christmas, and when you’re at a beautiful hotel you can enjoy that crisp white napkin feel, but we’ve also had very relaxed Christmases, with jingle bell slippers and party hats, letting it all hang out!

2016 brought a lot of changes for me. It’s been quite a tumultuous year.

On a personal level, my grandmother passed away at the age of 103; and change was afoot in my career too.

It’s been a tricky year.

So many people passed away — George Martin, Muhammad Ali - people I admired, people I interviewed, so it was difficult.

But 2017 will be a year to be reckoned with, because really, it can only get better from here.

I’m now the anchor of TV3’s weekend breakfast show, which has brought me amazing new opportunities, and I hope to work within the TV3 family and see where 2017 takes me.

We’ve talked about lots of different projects for next year, so I want to see them come to fruition, and I’d love to produce more.

In terms of my personal life, Richard and I are hoping to start a family and we would love to be blessed with children in 2017.

  • Photographed in No 25 Fitzwilliam Place. www.25fitzwilliamplace.ie
  • Hair and makeup: Brown Sugar.
  • www.brownsugar.ie

Elaine Crowley

Broadcaster

I’m very lazy when it comes to clothes, so I go to Emma, at Debenhams, who dresses me for Midday. She’ll pick out a dress, I’ll say, “I’m not wearing that, it looks like curtains”, then I put it on and love it!

This dress is comfortable, it’s festive, and after dinner I’ll be in my Christmas jammies or my turkey pants anyway!

This is my mass and dinner outfit. After that it’s hair up, onesie on - I like my comfort.

When you have to get dressed up for a living, dressing down on your off time is vital!

I have the same plans for Christmas as I do every year.

I go to Newtwopothouse, outside Mallow, where there’ll be me, my mam, my younger brother, and my older brother and his son for dinner, and then whoever else ends up coming on the day.

Various siblings pop in and out, and there’s war over the dinner because I can’t cook, but I end up being supervised doing stuff.

My mother doesn’t believe in cooking frozen Brussels sprouts, so I end up shelling hundreds of them!

I think this year there’ll be 14 of us for dinner, but some years we’ve had up to 25, which can be crazy, so it’s no wonder I’m in my comfy jammies - I’m stressed out of my head! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve spent the last 25 years celebrating Stephen’s day with my best friend, Claire, so that’s one Christmas tradition that will not budge, ever.

Our plans usually involve alcohol, but it doesn’t matter what we do so long as we do it together.

I do get dressed! We tend to leave the house because down the country Stephen’s night is the biggest night of the year.

It’s been an incredibly busy year, so I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest. I’m also very upset for 2016, and I can’t sit here and pretend it was amazing, because it wasn’t - the world went to shit.

For me, personally, a lot of good things did happen. I love travel, and I went to an amazing, bucket list spa destination - Chiva Som in Thailand. That was the highlight of my year.

I also did Operation Transformation, and met a fantastic crowd of people, and doing a show like that was a different experience.

So yes, you could say “Didn’t Elaine have a lovely year!” but I’m an empathetic person, so looking at what the world has become bothers me.

I would prefer to have achieved nothing this year if Trump wasn’t elected and Brexit didn’t happen.

I’ve had a lot of health problems over the last few years, so my mission going into 2017 is to be as healthy as I can possibly be.

It’s nothing to do with weight, I don’t give a damn about that; I just want to be as physically strong as I can be, and I want to stroll around in a bikini, and own it.

  • Photographed in No. 25 Fitzwilliam Place. www.25fitzwilliamplace.ie
  • Hair: Emma Yourell for Peter Mark, Grafton Street.
  • Makeup: Amy O’Neill for Make Up For Ever. www.makeupforever.ie


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