Scent of a woman
“I was brought up in a very simple background”
ANCIENT Chinese philosophers believed in yin and yang, the opposite yet complementary forces that drive our lives. This push-pull dynamic is played out on a weekly basis for RTÉ presenter Maura Derrane, who returned to our screens this week with co-host Dáithí Ó Sé.
After talking to the nation for five consecutive afternoons, there’s nothing more she likes to do than to close her front door and say as little as possible over the weekend.
“I talk so much on air I don’t want to talk to anyone else when I leave. I’m a very socially outgoing person in one way but I’ve become very introverted in my real life. Sometimes after a week [on TV] I just want to hide in the house. I don’t want to talk about work anymore. I just want to chill out and not talk about it for two days. “
Married to Fine Gael TD John Deasy, the couple live in Dungarvan with their son Cal. The youngster seems to have inherited his mother’s gift for communicating. “He’s three since May and has only started to speak properly. At two, he could recite the alphabet, spell and count up to 100. He never stops talking now.” Today with Maura and Dáithí,■ RTÉ One, Monday to Friday, 3.30pm.
What shape are you in?
I’ve had the summer off so I haven’t been sticking to an exercise regimen. But I’ve been active and walking. When I’m back in RTÉ I work out every week. I started doing weights, training and a little cardio with a personal trainer last year. It’s only for between 30 and 40 minutes because I’m very time poor. I hate going, but I feel great afterwards.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
Once winter kicks in I use Nutribullet every day. I throw in spinach, cucumber, low-fat yogurt and a protein powder and I bring it to work with me in the morning. I try to get my veg in that way. I’m not mad about greens.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
It’s always chocolate. I use it when I’m tired, especially when I’m halfway through the run. I’m going to try and stop it this year. I love Dairy Milk, Fruit and Nut, and Tiffin.
What would keep you awake at night?
I’ve never been an amazing sleeper. But I’m not a big worrier — I don’t ponder on things unless it’s very serious. I can normally handle stress pretty well. I’m very confident in my job. I’ve been doing it a long time. I don’t think there’s much that would shake me.
How do you relax?
My ideal relaxing night is watching a movie, a Netflix series or a Sky box set. At the weekend I like to get out and get a bit of air but there’s nothing better than sitting down with a glass of wine and chilling out.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
A cool couple would be George and Amal Clooney. I’ve always liked George — he’s smart and witty — and I think her work is fascinating. I’d love to know how they are managing with the twins. I’m sure they are so normal.
What’s your favourite smell?
Perfume is my passion. I love the science and the history of it. My favourite is Chanel’s Cristalle it has to be EDT. Then there’s Eau Dynamisante by Clarins — I never go on holidays without it. The other one is Chance in a spray-on body oil by Chanel — it’s really nice if you don’t want to wear something heavy.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
I’d like a washboard stomach, which I never had, even when I was 21.
When is the last time you cried?
Cal makes me cry sometimes. It’s a happy cry. I’m so overwhelmed sometimes. He said to me the other night: ‘Mummy I’m so happy I have you’. He’s got curly hair and big eyes, he’s like a Botticelli angel. He’s also a little monster.
What trait do you least like in others?
I don’t like sneakiness in others. I’d rather people be direct.
What trait do you least like about yourself?
I’m the worst timekeeper that ever lived. I’m always late for everything in my life.
Do you pray?
I have good faith. I’m not religious, if I was I would go to Mass every week. Yet I would go to Mass and I would go into a church regularly.
What would cheer up your day?
I know everyone says this, but your health is everything. Making a living is important and beyond that as long as Cal and John and my family are healthy, that’s all that matters to me. I don’t need a big house or a flashy car. I’m not that kind of person. I was brought up in a very simple background from the Aran islands. The older I get the more I appreciate the basic stuff in life.
TIME OUT: Maura Derrane doesn’t like to talk about work after spending five days chatting on live TV.