Bernard O’Shea (37) is one of the pre­sen­ters on 2FM’s ‘Break­fast Repub­lic’, an ac­tor and a co­me­dian. Born in Dur­row, Co Laois, he lives in Castle­knock, Dublin with his wife, Lorna, and their chil­dren, Olivia (2) and Tadhg (9 months)

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - WAKING HOURS - In con­ver­sa­tion with Ciara Dwyer

Iget up at 5.30am. I feel ab­so­lutely ex­hausted ev­ery sin­gle morn­ing. Even though I’ve been do­ing for the past three­and-a-half years, I never get used to the early morn­ings. My wife, Lorna, and our two kids are still asleep at that time. Lorna does 99.9pc of the work in the house with the chil­dren, and she is an ac­coun­tant. I brush my teeth, put on my clothes and, gen­er­ally, I’m in the car for 5.45am.

I live in Castle­knock. By 6am, I’m in Kil­main­ham, and there is al­ready traf­fic at that hour. I have to be in RTE for 6.30am. When I get there, I’ll look at the sports on the com­puter, and we’ll have pre­pared some bits from the day be­fore. Gen­er­ally, it’s may­hem. Then we come on at 7am. Keith [Walsh] presents by him­self for the first hour of the show.

On a slow news day, we of­ten have a busier day, be­cause peo­ple will be tex­ting in about their dead ham­sters. If they are com­mut­ing to work and stuck in traf­fic, they feel that we’re a lit­tle light re­lief. One of my slots on the show is about things I learnt from women’s mag­a­zines. I’m al­ways read­ing them,

Repub­lic Break­fast

be­cause I had three older sis­ters, and that was the only lit­er­a­ture in the house. Also, when you’re young, you just want to see women in their bras. But I al­ways read the ar­ti­cles. Ev­ery­thing I know about women, I’ve learnt from women’s mag­a­zines.

This morn­ing I read that fake tan is out. I have dab­bled in fake tan my­self — just for the face, though. Well, ac­tu­ally, it was tinted mois­turiser. I put it on af­ter shav­ing and it didn’t re­ally come up, so I put on a lit­tle bit more. The next day, I woke up and I couldn’t get it off. When you are a red-haired man and you wear fake tan, peo­ple can spot it. There is nowhere to hide.

I love do­ing the ra­dio show. So many peo­ple go into their jobs and there are huge amounts of stress. If they don’t get all their work done, there is war. Jobs like this don’t come around too of­ten. It’s amaz­ing to be told, ‘Go in and have the crack for the next three hours’. You can’t force chem­istry, but I think that at this stage, Jen­nifer [Zam­par­elli], Keith and I are like a mar­ried cou­ple — we’re start­ing to give out to each other.

When the show is over, I get in the car and drive to Inchicore — to the set of Some­one hands me some­thing to eat, and then, by 11am, we’re film­ing, un­til 7pm. Jen­nifer and I co-wrote it with our pro­ducer, Ja­son But­ler. It’s a comedy se­ries about a cou­ple from the 1980s who live in Ire­land, have no money and are al­ways fight­ing with each other. Brid­get wants her life to be bet­ter, and Ea­mon just wants to be left alone to watch telly and drink tea. We’ve just done our sec­ond se­ries, and re­cently sold it to UK TV Gold. It’s funny when you see the likes of

and [in the UK] say­ing it was great. I wish the Ir­ish pa­pers would say the same.

Re­cently, I’ve started swim­ming again. Be­fore I was mar­ried and had chil­dren, I used to do triathlons. But then I got busier with work, and I started to have a fam­ily. I stopped swim­ming and run­ning, and then I dis­lo­cated my kneecap. I started putting on weight and then more weight, and then all the clothes I had bought didn’t fit me any more. Keith just did the Dublin City Marathon, and he was do­ing all his fit­ness stuff, even though he has as busy a life as any­one else, with fam­ily and stuff. So, I got the in­spi­ra­tion from him.

Brid­get and Ea­mon. The Guardian The In­de­pen­dent

I’m not go­ing to try to run a marathon, but yes­ter­day I had my first ses­sion with a young guy from Swim Ire­land. He is go­ing to help me pick up speed. He is 22, and I call him an elas­tic band of hope. Young peo­ple are like elas­tic bands — they fall out of trees and they are fine. They look at ev­ery­thing so pos­i­tively, be­cause life hasn’t ground them down yet.

I don’t want to be a fat par­ent, but there is no con­nec­tion be­tween how big a per­son is and their fit­ness. A lot of big peo­ple are very fit. I have a lot of break­fast bars, and when you work my hours, you don’t get a chance to pre­pare food. You eat what­ever is handy. I eat a lot of sugar to stay awake, and I drink a lot of cof­fee. Ev­ery sin­gle day, I start out with great in­ten­tions. I have a lit­tle fit­ness app, and ev­ery day I put in my food. Then, at 2pm, I de­cide that I’m not putting any­thing else into it. I get de­pressed when it tells me that I’ve al­ready eaten my calo­rie-and-sugar quota.

On week­ends, I might do a stand-up show. If you’re go­ing to come to see me, you’ll prob­a­bly hear more about Peppa Pig than any­thing deep and mean­ing­ful. The stand-up is a bit edgier than the ra­dio show, but when I say ‘edgy’ I mean I’d have a ten­dency to get an­gry about the lo­cal shop not hav­ing Tun­nock’s Tea Cakes, as op­posed to po­lit­i­cal struc­tures.

I get home just be­fore bed­time. We nor­mally do story-time, but re­cently Olivia has taken to read­ing the sto­ries her­self. So we have to sit and let the twoyear-old read to us, even though she is not able to read. She makes it up, but as I al­ways say, that’s what Daddy does.

Be­fore I had chil­dren, I knew how to raise them. When you don’t have kids, you know ex­actly what to do. But then when you have them, you re­alise that they aren’t chil­dren, they are just lit­tle peo­ple, do­ing their own thing — they don’t agree with you, and they don’t want to go to bed. I never thought I’d be a soft par­ent, but I find it hard to give out to them. I can’t look at Olivia’s face if I give out to her. It kills me.

In the evenings, Lorna tries to put Olivia to bed, while I have the easy job. I stay down with Tadhg and watch foot­ball with him un­til he falls asleep. Gen­er­ally, I’m in bed for 10.30pm. I put on a pod­cast with a timer so that it switches off. I’m so tired that I’m usu­ally asleep in three min­utes.

Ev­ery­thing I know about women, I’ve learnt from women’s mag­a­zines. This morn­ing, I read that fake tan is out for the mo­ment

‘Break­fast Repub­lic’ is on 2FM from 6am-10am week­days, and ‘Brid­get and Ea­mon’ is on RTE2 on Mon­days at 10pm

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