Ra­dio head

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - The Shape I’m In - He­len O’Cal­laghan

KIERAN Cud­dihy’s pas­sion for jour­nal­ism re­ally kicked in when he did a stint on a Cana­dian com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion. “I ab­so­lutely loved it,” says the New­stalk pre­sen­ter, who qual­i­fied as a solic­i­tor in 2009. When the Kilkenny na­tive left Ire­land for Van­cou­ver that year, the re­ces­sion had re­ally be­gun to bite. “I just wasn’t that in­ter­ested in a le­gal ca­reer. I was look­ing for some­thing new. I did gen­eral labour­ing jobs in Canada, but there was some­thing about jour­nal­ism, it al­ways sounded in­ter­est­ing and I thought here’s an op­por­tu­nity to dip my toe in. I did and I loved it.”

Back home in Ire­land, Kieran did a mas­ters in jour­nal­ism at DCU and then a work place­ment at New­stalk. He hasn’t left since. He reg­u­larly fills in on New­stalk Break­fast dur­ing the week­day sched­ule and he took the reins of new weekly cur­rent af­fairs show On the Record early this year. What sto­ries has he par­tic­u­larly en­joyed cov­er­ing? “Per­versely, Brexit. There’s a bit of un­der­stand­able fa­tigue with it now but we had the for­mer Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer Ken­neth Clarke in and he was re­ally in­ter­est­ing,” says the 35-yearold who’s mar­ried to Natasha. The cou­ple have two chil­dren: Sam, three, and Grace, one.

As a Kilkenny na­tive, Kieran is pas­sion­ate about hurl­ing. “I’ve al­ways played with the club at home, up to a few years ago. I stopped be­cause of in­jury. Now I’m in­volved in man­ag­ing a team in a club at home.”

He’s based in Kilkenny but com­mut­ing to Dublin isn’t too tough — al­most be­cause of the fre­quent 4am starts.

“Be­cause of the un­usual hours, I’m never com­ing up and down in traf­fic.” What shape are you in? I’m in okay shape. Like ev­ery­one else, I think I could be in bet­ter shape. My sis­ter and I did a half iron­man last year. We’d both done a cou­ple of other triathlons and at the start of the year we were look­ing for some­thing to fo­cus on for the year ahead. Af­ter the iron­man we took it easy for a while. I’ve been get­ting back into shape again re­cently.

What are your health­i­est eat­ing habits?

I gen­er­ally eat a quite healthy break­fast, lunch and din­ner. Break­fast might be por­ridge or eggs, for lunch sal­ads and sand­wiches and for din­ner it could be your stan­dard curry, spaghetti, lasagne, meat and two veg, but we do them all from scratch.

What’s your guilti­est plea­sure?

All the bits in be­tween my main meals. I’m a ter­ri­ble grazer. I’d nib­ble away all day on any­thing. If there were bis­cuits or choco­late around, I’d devour them. There’s no say­ing no. What keeps you awake at night? I put my head down and I’m gone in a flash. But the one thing that dis­rupts my sleep is my chil­dren. A lot of the time one or both of them would be awake. How do you re­lax? By go­ing out for a run or to the gym or train­ing in the evening. When you’re in the me­dia bub­ble, it’s great to get out on the side of a pitch. It’s a world away from what I’m deal­ing with all day. Re­ally re­lax­ing. Who would you in­vite to your dream din­ner party? Hitler and Stalin. It would be fas­ci­nat­ing to talk to them about their de­ci­sion­mak­ing process, about what they were think­ing when dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions were taken in the War. Also Queen El­iz­a­beth I be­cause of the shape she had on the his­tory of these is­lands and how long that lasted. And Collins and Dev. I’d get them to de­scribe what they think Ire­land’s like now and then I’d give them a rude awak­en­ing and show them ex­actly what it’s like.

What’s your favourite smell?

A brand new hurl when you just puck around for a while and then smell the bass. It’s like a com­bi­na­tion of freshly cut grass and freshly cut tim­ber. When did you last cry? I hon­estly don’t know. I’m not much of an emoter.

What trait do you least like in oth­ers?

I sup­pose false­ness. Even if you have some­thing un­kind to say, just be hon­est and say it.

What trait do you least like in your­self?

I can be re­ally pass re­mark­able when I’m peo­ple watch­ing. My in­ner mono­logue be­comes an ex­ter­nal mono­logue. My wife says ‘would you stop com­ment­ing on ev­ery­one’. Do you pray? No, I don’t. Maybe a sign I’ve had too easy a life. I’ll prob­a­bly be one of those death-bed con­verts.

What cheers up your day?

Get­ting out­doors with the kids in good weather, par­tic­u­larly af­ter such a cold, wet win­ter.

HEALTHY EATER: Kieran Cud­dihy likes a healthy break­fast, lunch and din­ner and puts some thought into the prepa­ra­tion.

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