RTÉ presenter Carl Mullan: 'Chocolate is my favourite thing and my archnemesis'

RTÉ presenter Carl Mullan: 'Chocolate is my favourite thing and my archnemesis'
RTÉ presenter Carl Mullan: 'One of my favourite things to do is go walk in the mountains.' 

WHEN he’s not working as a creator for RTÉ online or co-presenting his weekend breakfast show on 2FM, Carl Mullan loves nothing more than a walk in the great outdoors. It’s something, like many of us, he has come to treasure even more in recent months.

He’s been able to turn his passion into a show — Go Outside and Play returns to RTÉ Player for a second series. 

“The first series was very much: here's a really brilliant place, you should go and see this,” he says. “With this series, particularly in the lead up to lockdown when the schools were off, we were seeing certain spots getting flooded with people and you couldn't safely social distance.

“We thought: how can we do something that encourages people or inspire them to get out but it's not saying specifically to go to any one place? We decided it's about the adventure, to give people ideas. For example, the first episode is about watching the sunrise in one location and the sun setting in another.” 

Go Outside and Play, Local Adventures, series 2, is available to watch now on RTÉ Player.

What shape are you in? 

Not where I would like or where I should be. After lockdown, there were a lot of Easter eggs consumed. It was time to knock that on the head. Exercise is so important for my head as well. I'm working to get myself into better shape again, because I had gotten myself into really good shape and I've a good incentive — I'm best man at a friend's wedding in December.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

In general, I would be quite good when I commit to something, I can be very disciplined. I tend to quite like healthy food, a stir-fry would be among my favourite meals.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? 

Chocolate is my favourite thing in the world and my archnemesis. It's an all or nothing thing with me — it's the full bar or nothing, and me thinking to myself, I wonder is there another one of those bars in the cupboard?

What would keep you awake at night? 

I tend to be a good sleeper and I never generally struggle too much. I'm very bad for saying yes to too many things. The times where I would struggle to get to sleep at night is when I know I've over-committed myself.

How do you relax?

Either chilling out with my girlfriend watching a film, or one of my favourite things to do is go walk in the mountains. I live in Dublin 12 and can be in the mountains in 15 minutes.

Who are your sporting heroes?

I'm a big Formula One fan and there are a few interesting characters. Alex Zanardi has such a remarkable story in that he was a Formula One driver and he had a very bad accident and he lost both his legs. A couple of years later, he was back in a racing car. He won gold at the Paralympics for hand-cycling.

What is your favourite smell? 

I love the smell of bread. We’re relatively close to the Brennan's bread factory and sometimes you get the smell of them baking the bread and it’s divine.

When was the last time you cried?

I’d be a terrible blubber during films. One of my favourite movies of all time is Mrs Doubtfire. I watched it again recently and the end of the film is so gorgeous. I was watering up by the end of it.

What trait do you least like in others? 

I don’t like anyone who is willing to steamroll through people for the sake of their own success; people who will treat others badly for their own gain. Larry Gogan was really successful and such a kind person with his time.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I probably compare myself (to others) a little bit. I also have a trait of imposter syndrome. I would go into a situation and straight away think I shouldn't be there.

What would cheer up your day? 

Myself and my girlfriend Aisling, we just got a new puppy, Angie. I’ve never had a dog before and people have always said to me, the best thing about dogs is the loyalty and unconditional love. You walk into the house and she reacts as if she's won the Lotto.

Is there a quote that inspires you and why? 

I remember a teacher of mine, Mr O'Shea, he always used to tell us: ‘Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission’. I always thought it was brilliant because, sometimes, you’re your own worst enemy in a situation.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

The Wicklow mountains. I've been very lucky to travel to quite a few places around the world. I'm very close to the Wicklow mountains and it stands up with any of the places I've been to.

Esther McCarthy

More in this section


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up