Ur fam­ily to geted like it’s such a feel­ing

To Alexan­dra Ryan about the cal­lous have killed his fam­ily – and still haunts him

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE -

Kathryn and I were up for the job, then there was talk of there be­ing a two-handed pre­sen­ter job, then talk of one.

‘I was just pipped to the post by Kathryn but I’m de­lighted for her be­cause I knew how much she wanted it. It would have been great if the two of us got to do it but they wanted a sin­gle pre­sen­ter and they went for her. That’s just the way it is — you can’t get ev­ery gig. It’s weird watch­ing it now be­cause I did You’re A Star in the Helix and I re­mem­ber what the at­mos­phere was like there. I love live TV.’

In­stead of sit­ting back and wait­ing for RTÉ to call with the next job, Brian started fly­ing to London in search of an agent. Now he is signed to Roar Man­age­ment, who also have Myleene Klass and Lor­raine Kelly on their books. Brian is still de­ter­mined to make it in Bri­tain. ‘When I didn’t get The Voice, I de­cided I’d go where the work is. I’m not the kind of per­son who sits at home and just waits for the phone to ring. I went over there and I spent six weeks knock­ing on doors try­ing to get an agent — it was so dif­fi­cult. At the mo­ment I am over ev­ery week for meet­ings, which is bril­liant. Even when I’m do­ing the Big Money Game, I’m still go­ing to be go­ing over ev­ery week un­til I land a gig. It’s re­ally hard be­cause I am com­pletely un­known over there. There is huge com­pe­ti­tion. As long as it’s not neg­a­tive against RTÉ, I can do what­ever I want. But RTÉ comes first and I’d never jeop­ar­dise that.’

Brian has hit the head­lines lately, not for his pre­sent­ing work — but for his pho­tog­ra­phy. In a very cheeky move he tweeted a picture of his wife’s bot­tom, and the press went wild. Brian ad­mits now it was prob­a­bly in bad taste. ‘No more pho­tog­ra­phy from Brian,’ he laughs. ‘It was just me try­ing to be funny. Any­one that knows me will know what I’m like. I’m quick with the one-lin­ers and that was just one I took too far. The re­ac­tion was crazy — I thought it was hi­lar­i­ous. A cou­ple of weeks be­fore­hand, it was Na­tional Cleav­age Day and ev­ery model in the land was tweet­ing pic­tures of their cleav­age, and no one bat­ted an eye­lid. Then I tweet one picture as a joke and it’s ev­ery­where the next day. What I’ve learned is: think be­fore you tweet.’

But Brian and Pippa have al­ways lived their lives in the public eye. The cou­ple’s lav­ish wed­ding at the Ritz Carl­ton in Wick­low 10 months ago was filmed for the RTÉ doc­u­men­tary Brian And Pippa Get Mar­ried. They also sold the rights to their wed­ding to VIP mag­a­zine. Still, Brian doesn’t con­sider him­self and Pippa celebri­ties. ‘I wouldn’t say I’m a celebrity. I’m not. I don’t think we’ve any celebri­ties in Ire­land; we just have peo­ple that are known. Pippa is a model and she’s on TV a lot but that doesn’t give her the right to be a celebrity. Peo­ple think we have an un­be­liev­able life, and we do, but it’s in­cred­i­bly hard at the same time. Pippa has to work so hard to be good at her job. It’s all about keep­ing the pro­file up for Pippa and be­ing seen at the right things and mak­ing sure she doesn’t put a foot wrong.’

So their glam­orous life­style isn’t what it seems? Brian ad­mits the new­ly­weds tend to stay put in their Kil­dare home and have given up lav­ish nights out. ‘The times we are in at the mo­ment are not good and ev­ery­thing is cut back. Our life­style has changed. Ev­ery­one has got to work that bit harder. We like to stay in with a bot­tle of wine and a DVD. We go to Krys­tle maybe once a month if we’re lucky.’ But that might all be about to change if Brian makes it big in London... The Big Money Show re­turns to RTÉ on 9 June

Last month Brian took part in a 104-mile char­ity walk from Dublin to Belfast with Ron­nie Whe­lan to raise funds for suf­fer­ers of the mus­cle dis­or­der

Myas­the­nia Gravis

Golden cou­ple Above: Brian with his model wife, Pippa O’con­nor; Far left: Pre­sent­ing ICE with Sinéad Kennedy on RTÉ Two

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