Dressing the part

Brendan Courtney, presenter of Off The Rails, is one of three judges, as well as MC, for Blossom Hill ladies’ day, which takes place at the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS on Thurs, Aug 16.

The stylist encourages prize-conscious fashionistas to combine the practical with the individual. “Somebody who conforms to the idea of the day, but who has stamped their personality all over their outfit would do well,” he says. “Think vintage piece, an accessory, hair, make-up — anything that makes an outfit stand out. Classic is always good.”

Brendan, who recently filmed a documentary about ladies’ day for RTÉ, says he is “very democratic about my fashion” and acknowledges that everybody has their own taste. “I don’t like the way Katie Price dresses, but she’s not my target audience. You can be mod, rocker, Goth — it’s all ok.”

The 39-year-old, whose London-based partner, Mike, is a TV producer, loves working on Off The Rails. “It’s the best job I’ve had. To work with women who, for whatever reason, have neglected themselves and to make them feel beautiful — what could be a nicer job?” he says.

What shape are you in?

I’m in quite good shape, at the moment. I go to the gym four times a week.

Do you have any health concerns?

My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease. I believe it’s hereditary, so we’re all madly taking fish oils, because it’s not a nice disease. My father has a heart condition, so I would do a lot of cardio training.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat fish most days — sushi or cooked fish. I eat fish more than I eat anything else. I gave up bread for four years — I worked with someone who never ate it and she maintained it bloated the stomach. I never eat white bread.

Do you have any guilty pleasure?

Pot Noodles are delicious.

Do you sleep well?

Since I went into my 30s, I started sleeping a lot lighter. I’ll wake at 7am or 8am, no matter what time I go to bed. I went through a period of about five or six months of being addicted to sleeping tablets. I got rid of them a few years ago.

How do you relax?

I do a type of relaxation called mindfulness. I love going out and chatting with friends. My favourite thing is to lie on a beach.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna and Obama.

What’s your favourite smell?

I love the smell of my mum — she always smells gorgeous.

What would you change about your appearance?

I’d like to look less tired sometimes. But I wouldn’t change anything else, at this stage, I’ve had it too long. Not that it’s great, but it’s me.

What trait do you least like in others?

Meanness or greed.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

I’m the most impatient person I know. I need to calm down, slow my brain down. That’s why I meditate. When I was younger, I’d get so irritated with people who couldn’t keep up with me. I’ve calmed down a lot.

Do you pray?

No, I don’t believe in God. I believe in the universe and in karma. I really believe you get back what you put in 100 times over.

What would cheer up your day?

I’m very easily pleased. A smile from a stranger often lifts my heart. I spent a lot of time in London, where people don’t look at each other. I’m addicted to laughter — I love being around people who make me laugh.


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