In conversation with Hilary Fennell.
I suppose you could say my career started with Glenroe. It wasn’t my choice as I was just a baby! My mum brought me along to the audition and I grew up on TV.
I did arts in UCD, Irish and archaeology, thinking I’d be a teacher but at the back of my mind I wanted something more creative. Years later a friend of mine was making a TV ad and needed some help and that’s when I realised I wanted to work in TV or film production.
I think I was quite a shy kid although my brothers and sisters say I was a lunatic. I’m the youngest of six. I don’t think I was spoilt. My dad was an Aer Lingus engineer and my mum worked in our home in Bray, bringing us all up.
I live in Stoneybatter in Dublin now. As the nature of my work is sporadic I have to create my own routine. I’m definitely a night person. I dislike the mornings immensely. I’m more creative at night, it’s when I come alive and come up with ideas. I usually stay up until 1am.
The trait I most admire in others is the ability to remain calm and not to get stressed out about situations. I’m trying to do that a lot more. I’ve discovered that it all depends on how hungry I am.
I’ve been trying to get into meditation over the last few months, to see if it will help, as I find it hard to swtich off.
The highlight of my career so far has been the phone calls telling me I’ve got the gig. First off was the travel show – TG4’s O Tholg go Tolg. Then Two Tube. Then music gigs like The Choice Awards and Electric Picnic. Radio is a lot more relaxed and chilled than TV but then I love all that prep and fuss, all the hair and makeup and wardrobe.
I try to be good about what I eat, especially if there’s a big show coming up, I so want to be fit and I’ve been hitting the gym a bit lately but I’m not good at keeping it up.
My biggest fault is that sometimes I feel super confident and then other times I can get very nervous. It just depends on the situation – maybe I’d be interviewing someone I really admire – or doing live TV. The first day on set for Dancing with the Stars I was insanely nervous. I’d love to be able to sit myself down and remind myself to chill the feck out – it’s only TV – but that doesn’t always work.
The best advice I’ve ever received has been from Sinead Kennedy and Stephen Byrne – not to take crap from anyone, not to let anyone push you around.
The biggest challenge I’ve had to deal with was the break-up of my relationship when I was 22. But we’re back together now! I met Charlie years ago through a friend. He’s a jazz musician and also teaches.
I think my most useful skill is that I’m good with people.
If I could change one thing in our society I’d change the way everyone is becoming so vain and living their lives online rather than just living their lives without worrying about Snapchap and Instagram. Social media is part of my work but I don’t use Snapchat, I’m not arsed to be honest, and my use of Instagram and Twitter is more about keeping up with what my friends are up to.
When I’m not working I love hanging out with my family. I’ve ten nieces and nephews. Or, I spend my time going to gigs. Charlie has introduced me to the world of jazz.
If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Beyonce. She has the same amount of hours in the day as I do but her work ethic is incredible. And the minute she steps on stage, it’s show time.
I’m not religious at all. I do think that when we die some of our energy remains. We continue in some way, just not in a bodily form.
What irritates me most about other people is begrudgery.
So far, life has taught me that the most important thing is to be content. Enjoy the highs, feel the lows, but appreciate the bits in between.
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