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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Nerds of the world unite with Aoibhinn, but there's no need to raise a glass

Actress Aoibhinn McGinnity has revealed that she's poles apart from her Love/Hate character Trish in real life.

She told VIP magazine that she's never done drugs, is a lightweight when it comes to alcohol and has handled a real gun just once in her life.

In fact, in her words, she considers herself a bit of a 'nerdy pants'.

I gave a little cheer when I read that, because I have to admit that I'm a bit of a nerdy pants myself.

Like Aoibhinn, I've never touched drugs and I'm also a complete lightweight when it comes to alcohol, even more so now that I'm in my 40s and just one glass of wine gives me a raging hangover.

When other people of my age tell stories of their mad, bad, glory days, I have nothing exciting to add to the conversation because when they were out partying and having a very good time with drink and recreational drugs, I was usually at home tucked up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a book.

It probably sounds boring to most people, but that's just the way I was built. Drinking and doing drugs never held any appeal for me.

The great thing about Aoibhinn stepping up and admitting that she's no party animal is that, because of her star power, she has influence.

These days, many young actors and entertainers are more famous for their reckless antics off-screen than their work.

Take former child actress Lindsay Lohan, whose personal struggles with various addictions make headlines the world over.

tarnished

Or singer Justin Bieber, whose brushes with the law are now far more widely reported than his music career.

Many meet tragic, ends or are swallowed up whole by the entertainment industry.

Aoibhinn herself has said that she'd hate to ever be compared to these types and that it would be awful to be tarnished with that brush in people's minds.

She's right to have concerns because people can be very quick to jump to conclusions about your private life when you're an actor, especially in a show like Love/Hate.

She plays the part of gang moll so convincingly but, at the end of the day, that's all it is - a part.

What happens on screen and what happens off are two separate things, and it's important that kids understand this.

Just because you play a certain character doesn't mean that you're anything like that in reality.

And just because you work in the entertainment industry doesn't automatically mean that you spend your nights snorting coke at showbiz parties or drinking yourself into a drunken stupor at awards shows.

impressionable

I'm sure that parents everywhere are delighted that Aoibhinn has made this clear.

My own children are far too young to watch Love/Hate, but there are thousands of impressionable teenagers out there who do.

If Aoibhinn has the confidence to stand up and simply be herself then it might persuade some of them to do the same.

She probably won't have realised it but, just by being honest, she's already become a positive role model.

Even better, now that she's claimed the title of 'nerdy pants,' being a bit sensible is bound to become far cooler than it ever was.

So, nerds of the world unite - we're in good company.

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