I have my eye on a couple of pieces from Paul’s new collection
Louise Duffy is loving life with football legend Paul Galvin and shares his love of clothes, but insists that she is far better in the kitchen
I sound like orphan Annie but I was talking about traffic on AA Road Watch. I’ve had help
THE dim lighting flickers off the chandeliers and candelabra at No. 22 on South Anne Street; a bespoke venue for hire a minute’s walk from the bustle of Grafton Street. A great hall has been erected from what was once McGonagles and The Crystal Ballroom, and what has been raised in its place is a plush open space complete with a glitter ball and velvet drapes.
Next month this great hall will host a gathering of foodies, bloggers and hungry takeaway patrons. So outside in the Library bar a queue of journalists has formed, eager to interview the compere, Today FM DJ and one half of the most stylish pairing on the showbiz scene, Louise Duffy. The Mayo presenter will co-host the now annual Just Eat National Takeaway Awards with comic Colm O’Regan.
And, wearing a full-length crimson ball gown, she has already brought a lift to the proceedings.
‘I am behaving myself, I am looking forward to the Just Eat awards. It is going to be a lovely event – and I get to work with the bold Colm Regan so it should be a lot of fun.
‘To a degree, it can be nerve-wracking enough, because when you are in your little studio and the house is empty from seven to nine each evening it is very relaxed, but when all those faces are looking back at you there are the initial intakes of breath and wows. All these faces are looking up at you. But, bar the initial set-up, I am fine afterwards and I settle in after it.’
Fresh from a break, she is back on the airwaves in her 7pm, two-hour slot and is quite happy being one of the few female presenters on the national airwaves.
She has quite openly said that it can’t be denied that there is a predominantly male line-up on the station’s daytime schedule. But she is extremely proud to represent her gender on the airwaves and believes that Today FM is doing more than enough to equal up the gender imbalance.
‘Of course I would like to see more women on the airwaves. I know it is a very prevalent conversation and that it needs to be had and there is a lot of focus on it. And yes there is an absolute imbalance and you can’t argue against that. I can only talk about my experience and where I come from, and Today FM have been very supportive of me and pushed me to do things that I might not have had the opportunity to do so I can only speak about my journey.
‘They don’t hire because of gender which is good in one way, in that they get the right person for the job. But it also can conversation.
‘However, top and tail in Today FM you have Paula McSweeney and Me. And Muireann O’Connell is constantly on-air and she is brilliant and she fills in for AL and Dermot and Dave so there are a lot of voices.
‘But behind the scenes on the news and many of the producers are really strong women as well. And when you are in there it doesn’t feel like there is a lack of female voices but I can see how the conversation exists.’
Louise says that throughout her career she has only been supported by her male counterparts including the late Tony Fenton who was something of a mentor for her.
‘I truly am really proud about being a female DJ on Today FM. I think that it is a testament to Today FM that they took me in when I had very little experience.
‘I know I am starting to sound like the orphan Annie, but I was just talking about traffic a couple of minutes a day on the AA Road Watch slot and they have taught me so much. And people like Ian Dempsey and Dermot and Dave add to this have all been so good to me. As well as Tony Fenton back in the day. So I would have learned so much from the guys that are there. I also have worked hard and I am extremely proud of that.’
Another area of pride for her is Mayo’s triumph over Kerry and their place in tomorrow’s All-Ireland football final. She laughs off suggestions of any marital rift after her husband Paul Galvin’s team were dumped out of the competition. In fact she confesses to being something of a fraud when it comes to the GAA, although she believes everyone outside of Dublin will be shouting for Mayo.
‘Mayo versus Kerry, we are, of course, still speaking and, funnily enough, we had a really nice day.
‘All my brothers and my dad and aunties and uncles were up, as well as Paul’s family, so we had a lot of fun. I don’t take it too seriously and I can just go and enjoy the day. If Mayo do it I think Paul and the entire country would be very happy for them and I would be happy for them. It is high time they did it and you would have to cheer them on. Maybe bar Dublin.
‘It is always very funny because I always feel like a bit of a fraud having a conversation about football as it is really not my forte at all. In Mayo people are so passionate about it and the supporters are tireless, year in and year out, and they deserve something.’
The presenter previously fronted The Louise Duffy Show at 2:30pm on Today FM but a year ago moved to the later slot of 7pm, swapping places with Fergal D’Arcy.
‘I am a year long on radio; it was my year’s anniversary last week so it is a great for me. Obviously, when you move from different shows in the schedule your life changes as you go. I was on in the mornings back in the day and that change was complete upheaval.
But this has been easy and I have just settled into it and it gives me a lot more time during the day to do other bits and pieces like this and the show itself suits me really well.
‘It is entirely about music and that is the only content I need to worry about. We can experiment a lot more and have a lot of fun with the playlist yet it is still familiar for the Today FM listener.
THERE is a lot of new music and Irish music. And on Tuesdays I will dedicate an entire hour to the best of Irish music so that might be new acts or old classics like the Frames and U2. It is a really nice mix but it means that I am being creative every day and I am settled in finally.’
She also launched her own fashion website and, of course, tied the knot to the famous footballer and fashion designer, who has just launched a new Peaky Blinders line of clothes in Dunnes Stores. Despite all the life-changing events that have happened over the past two years she says that married life really suits them as a couple.
‘Married life is good, so far so good. We have settled into this old
We have settled into this old married-couple life now and it is great
married couple life now and it is great. Paul is really busy and thankfully I am too. The Peaky Blinders style is amazing. We were glued to it and the fashion is phenomenal and Paul is a big fan of Cillian Murphy and he also is very conscious of having a story behind each collection, and I think that kind of adds to a little bit of it. But this current collection I am most excited about because there are a couple of pieces I have my eye on. There is a lovely stripey knit and a military jacket that I will be insisting comes home in a smaller size. I feel that it is getting better all the time and that he is very proud of it.
‘It is accessible and I think that Irishmen are experimenting a lot more now in terms of fashion, and so it is really cool.’
As a front for Just Eat, Louise is almost contractually obliged to admit to ordering in a lot.
She does however claim to be the cook in her household and puts all her energies into cooking stand-out breakfasts now that she is on air late at nights.
‘I love the awards and I love a bit of Sabba To Go, and I actually rely on takeaways a lot now because at nine o’clock when you are coming home from work, who could be bothered coming home from work and tackling that?
‘I rely on Sabba To Go a bit too much I think, but I am the cook in our house apart from that. I think Paul thinks he is but, no, I have definitely a lot more prowess in the kitchen than poor Paul.
‘I have to say I do a good steak and I do it with the works. I do the crispy onions and mushrooms and the sauces from scratch.
‘But now, because I work late, I am more of a breakfast person,’ she added.
‘I go all out for brekkie and I am a big girl for avocado smash and poached eggs and general hipster food, I am a gobshite really.
‘I rely on that a lot more and get more creative really at nine in the morning instead of nine at night.’
The Just Eat National Takeaway Awards 2017 will take place on October 17.
Voting is open for all takeaway restaurants throughout Ireland. Voting is online at www.just-eat. ie/takeawayawards2017 until September 25.
Power couple: Paul Galvin and Louise Duffy
Dressed for success: Louise Duffy
Radio star: Louise Duffy has come a long way in her career so far