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Friday 14 December 2018

Celebrity Diary: I'm back and feeling great, but have to diet. You won't know me soon -- I'll look like Twiggy

I kicked off my week with a long-overdue catch-up with my good friend Amanda Brunker. We went for a drink on Sunday night after the All Ireland Talent Show and had a good laugh.

It's funny, we don't generally have time to unwind after the live shows because we all have such crazy Monday morning schedules.

None of us had really seen each other outside of work since Christmas so I was teasing her about how she can go from doing ads for weight loss products to sofas in a matter of weeks.

Naturally I was a bit disappointed after Sunday's show because I didn't get my two surfer dudes into the next round but that's the nature of the game.

Us judges are quite unanimous in our opinions this year, but the public aren't responding for some reason.



TOES

There is one talent that's obviously the best in my opinion. That's a funny one, you can only do what you can do. I just hope it comes right.

I do miss Shane Lynch on the panel. He's a big loss but of course I still have my old sparring partner Daithi O Se to keep me on my toes. We're as competitive as ever!

I think he's doing very well presenting the Daily Show. I see it the odd time but I'm generally very busy with work myself.

On Monday morning I was in bright and early to work and I did a few wardrobe changes for next week's All Ireland Talent Show.

I had a lot to catch up on after the weekend as I'm in the middle of a documentary about the late snooker player Alex Higgins at present.

He has to have been one of the most bizarre characters to have ever graced the Irish sports world. I'm going to be narrating it, as well as researching and editing it. I've already read his autobiography twice and it's a fascinating read. He was friends with the likes of actor Oliver Reed.

His personality was multi-faceted. He could have fit into any historical genre really.

I'm just trying to understand the man behind the snooker cue now and get to the bottom of his reputation with money. It's incredible to think that he had everything and then he lost it again. He really seems to have lived for the day.

Making documentaries is something that I've always done for RTE and I really enjoy getting my teeth into them. I truly live, breath and eat the topic while making it.

They don't generally hit the headlines in the same way the lighter entertainment programmes do, but they still get huge ratings and a lot of work goes into them.

Tuesday then was more of the same, there's a lot of office-based work involved. There was also some talk that day about the St Patrick's Day Parade. I'm going to be involved in hosting it again this year so there's a lot of pre- production to do.

I'm excited about taking on the next few months now. No more than any other organisation, RTE is feeling the pinch and it is a lot quieter now. It's just a matter of keeping your head down and keeping busy. I'm just delighted to be back to my full health after having an operation on a twisted bowel the year before last. I'm feeling great now. I'm back and I'm 100pc. Now I just seriously need to get fit and lose weight, I'm determined to tackle that and get it under control. You won't know me in a few months when I look like Twiggy!

I'm planning to go for an assessment next week so between running around after the kids and running around for work I'll be kept busy.

I'm actually trying to peel potatoes and make some homemade burgers as I write this. Now that's what you call multi-tasking.

On Wednesday I spent the day at the Aviva Stadium, again interviewing people for the Higgins film. I spoke to everyone, from Ken Doherty to Nell McCafferty to tailor Louis Copeland. That guy really needs to write a book. The stories he could tell about the people he's dressed in his day are incredible.

That afternoon I tried to do a bit of work from home but it turned out to be a bad idea, as the kids all got nerf guns from Santy and were determined to play with them under my feet.

Basically every time I turned my back I got hit with another bullet. And of course you can't complain because you just get told 'But mum, they're soft bullets!'

I did find time to ring my Glee Clubbers and find out how they were getting on that afternoon though. It's tied in with the AITS so basically on next week's show my group will be featured. I think it's a great idea because Glee, the TV show, has become such an enormous hit. If there was a Glee Club when I was growing up, I would 100pc have been in it.

Yesterday evening I met up with my good friend and Herald columnist, Anna Nolan, for what she describes as "tea," but in actual fact means dinner.

We just went somewhere cheap and cheerful. That's the one good thing to have come from this recession, you don't feel obligated to be going to these flash places and spending a fortune.

We both had big milestones last year, we turned 40 in quick succession, so we have a lot in common. I won't lie, Anna didn't want to know about it initially but then in the end she decided to celebrate. I was telling her all about my night out to see Tommy Tiernan at Vicar Street last weekend as well.

He and I are from the same part of the world so I've always been a big fan and his latest show is no different. He had me in stitches! I think he's mellowed a bit over the years, he's just as brilliant but a bit slower.

I also had a bite to eat in Dylan McGrath's new restaurant Rustic Stone that evening and I have to say I would give it a big thumbs up.

The plan for this weekend is just to relax with the kids before Sunday rolls around and it's time to get back to work and cheer on my acts on the All Ireland Talent Show.

The All Ireland Talent Show is on Sundays on RTE 1, 6.30pm

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