Scent of a woman

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - The Shape I’m In - Irene Feighan

“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.

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