Shape I'm In: Communications consultant and broadcaster Jonathan Healy

Armed with a new Kenwood mixer, Johnathan Healy decided to tackle the challenge of learning how to bake during lockdown. So far he’s served up scones — “a speciality” — white bread, brown bread, pizza and roulades.
Shape I'm In: Communications consultant and broadcaster Jonathan Healy

Jonathan Healy. 

Armed with a new Kenwood mixer, Johnathan Healy decided to tackle the challenge of learning how to bake during lockdown. So far he’s served up scones — “a speciality” — white bread, brown bread, pizza and roulades.

“Neven Maguire gave me a couple of cookbooks and I’m working my way through the baking part of them,” he says.

“I did a cooking demonstration with him once and he awoke a bit of a cook, a chef and a baker inside me.”

A multitasker, he runs Cork-based Healy Communications with his wife, Colette, and broadcasts on a regular basis. He was a presenter on Newstalk for seven years before an opportunity to set up his own business presented itself in 2017. “I can’t imagine myself ever going back to being an employee,” says the father of three.

He returns to Newstalk next month to stand in for Pat Kenny. “I refer to broadcasting now as my well-paid hobby. I fill in very badly for other qualified broadcasters.”

What shape are you in?

Lockdown has been a godsend for my most recent pastime which is walking. I don’t like running so I started walking for Ireland around this time two years ago. I find it cathartic. I live in the countryside north of Blarney, so there are great walks out here. On the good days when I’m taking about 18,000 steps, I know to check the stepper that day; on the days I haven’t done it I leave it in my pocket. Then there’s five-a-side I play badly.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I stopped eating white bread and biscuits two years ago — they were my downfall. I also reduced my portion size. It took me nine months to shift two stone — I went from 14½to 12½st. It was a very boring diet. I’d love to say that I ate goat placenta but I didn’t.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

The indulgence, unfortunately, would still be a few pints. Heineken would be my tipple. And a creamy bun — but very few and far between.

What would keep you awake at night?

I’m a very good sleeper as a rule. At the end of the 10 o’clock news, that’s normally the signal for me to start shuffling upstairs. I watch a bit of TV for five minutes and I’m gone into a deep sleep.

How do you relax?

Walking. It’s very simple and straightforward. If I found myself getting anxious at all I would get out and have a walk. If I turn left or right outside my gate we’ve got this 8k ring around our house.

Who are your sporting heroes?

I went to Coláiste Chríost Rí and so did Manchester United player Denis Irwin. He was one of those great sporting heroes we always idolised.

What’s your favourite smell?

My wife and freshly baked bread.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’m getting slightly aulder which means there are more wrinkles now when I smile.

When is the last time you cried?

Thankfully, it hasn’t been recently. Sometimes when I think of my father and what he has missed, that would catch me. He died aged 54 — I was only 20 at the time. What would have been his first great-grandchild was born recently.

What traits do you least like in others?

Dishonesty. For me, in work and in life you have to be honest.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I over analyse. But if I’m losing a sense of perspective or if I’m overthinking something my wife would be the first one to point that out and help to reel me back in.

Do you pray?

I do.

What would cheer up your day?

Hugs from the kids — you’ll always be happy if there’s a hug.

What quote inspires you most and why?

It’s the George Santayana quote: ‘Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it’. It’s particularly relevant in the modern era but also relevant personally because if you forget the mistakes you’ve made you will continue to make them in the future.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Gougane Barra — I always used to go down there with my dad. Now we are bringing the kids there, Jack (12), Matthew (9), and Aoife (6).

Irene Feighan

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