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Aoibhinn goes from dating a presenter .. to her own show

AOIBHINN ni Shuilleabhain may no longer have a famous boyfriend in the shape of RTE's Ryan Tubridy, but the former Rose of Tralee is continuing to blaze a trail when it comes to our small screens.

Her first solo show, called An Cor, is starting on RTE 2 shortly. The bi-lingual, three-part series sees the bubbly brunette (27) anchoring her own programme for the first time.

She meets with six choirs from all over the country and documents their journey as they learn and perform popular Gaelic songs.

Starting on March 7, participants will then be seen competing for the An Cor trophy through a succession of sing-offs, with the overall winner nabbing a €1,000 prize.

"We got to go all around the country, just sitting in people's kitchens drinking tea, discussing the stories and where they learnt them and how far back they went in the generations of the families," Aoibhinn explained.

"It was lovely, visiting parts of the country I haven't been to before, such beautiful places, rural, not isolated but almost wild."

And the Maths teacher at St Mark's community school in Tallaght has said that she realises how fortunate she is to have found her way into TV presenting, especially as she didn't go about it the traditional route.

She added: "I could imagine doing it full-time but there are far better people in the industry who have worked their way up and deserve to be in it more than I would be.

Cheat

"I just popped into it, I didn't do all the making tea and photocopying and researching so I feel like a bit of a cheat and sometimes I think they will find me out."

However, she believes there are some similarities between the two careers.

"It's not as opposed as it seems because teaching is quite like performing because you are kind of presenting all the time. But media work is just a different challenge. I got into it accidentally and I am very lucky that I don't rely on it," she continued.

"The students don't know me as someone who is on television, they know me as Miss O'Sullivan, and I am their Maths teacher and I will give them detention if they don't have their homework done. They are teenagers and have far more to be thinking about than me and my life."

mfinn@herald.ie