herald

Monday 23 October 2017

I've discovered a Spark of real talent to showcase on my new TV academy

My new book, Spark had its official launch at an event at 25 Fitzwilliam Place last night.

It was a wonderful evening with friends and family and Mary Harney launched the book for me.

I was keen so say thank you to the people who had helped myself and my son Dara over the past three years, so the two of us worked on the guest list together and there were about a hundred people there.

It's been a very busy week promoting the book and working on other projects.

I spoke at Eason's big Christmas conference for all their retailers on Tuesday which was a great honour.

Pitch

I was on a panel with Derval O'Rourke and Francis Brennan and we had to pitch our book to all the retailers from around the country.

It was great to meet and talk to the people who will actually be the ones selling our books in store.

The response to Spark has been amazing already and it's only been on shelves for a week.

This week I've also been working on my new RTE2 show, Norah's Traveller Academy.

We've been getting the final edits together and I'm viewing some of the episodes today.

I'm still working with the women who are on the show and I'm hoping the episodes will be on air by the start of November.

I was working with four women and we tried to work with their skills.

One of the girls, Anne-Rose, is 27 and she's a single mom and she only went to school for three weeks in her whole life.

She only learned to read last year but she has this amazing talent for beading.

When I met her she was blinging up high street dresses for her cousins and her sisters and she had an obvious design talent.

So I sent her off to spend some time with jewellery designer Joanne Hynes, introduced her to people like Orla Kiely and Paul Costello.

She learned how to sew and I encouraged her to make cuffs and collars and they're just beautiful.

Mentoring

So she's had lots of help and mentoring but she's really just such an amazing girl herself.

We launched her designs at a beautiful catwalk show which was just brilliant.

I'm still working with her and this week we were in meetings with retailers to discuss taking her designs on.

The girls have been on an incredible journey over the past few months and they have worked incredibly hard.

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