On the couch...
with singer Mary Byrne
Born in Dublin, Mary Byrne earned fame as an X Factor finalist in 2010. Since then, she has released a number of albums, performed with Phil Coulter, supported Neil Diamond and appeared in musical theatre. Her TV work includes Celebrity Bainisteoir and Midday, and her autobiography was published in 2011
Who controls the remote in your house?
Myself and my daughter. When she wants to see som ething I’ll sit back and watch it with her and vice-versa.
What do the words “Christmas TV” mean to you?
Joy and just sitting back relaxing. The last year I did the panto we only had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day o , and it was brilliant to sit with Deborah and watch all those lovely old movies like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas.
What are your unmissable shows right now?
Aw there are so many! I’ve got into Net ix now and have been watching Making a Murderer and all the old period dramas. On the telly right now, it’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
Who would you cast in a new version of A Christmas Carol?
Colin Farrell or Hugh Jackman. They’re both excellent and capable of playing this cranky old man who turns into this wonderful person.
Are you a “telly on, laptop on the knees and phone for tweeting” over-load kind of person?
I wouldn’t be but I do often have my phone out while watching television. A lot of the time I’m on Facebook or playing Candy Crush – while still concentrating on the television.
What do you remember about your first appearance on telly?
It was on a TG4 programme called Nollaig No. 1. I remember thinking, ‘I’m not even going to notice there are cameras there, I’m going to pretend I’m in my local pub singing’, but it was a very surreal moment.
All-time favourite TV drama, comedy, soap, documentary and live TV event?
Favourite drama would be, from a long time ago, Hill Street Blues. I have two favourite comedies, The Middle and Friends. For soap, I’ve always loved Coronation Street. I love any documentary to do with history. The live event that sticks out is Live Aid. It was fantastic.
Are there any genres of TV you just can’t abide?
I wouldn’t watch anything to do with shing, gol ng or cricket.
Do you watch a lot of talentcontest TV?
Yes, I would be a huge fan. I remember when You’re a Star was on. Britain’s Got Talent is one of my favourites but X Factor is my number one. I’m getting into Ireland’s Got Talent now too.
Are there any shows you have on box-set, DVR or red button that you haven’t quite got round to watching?
Anytime I have something like that I will always make sure I watch them straight away – then rewatch them over and over. Even The Waltons: I got a new box-set and have watched it a dozen times since. When I like something, I really get stuck into it.
Mary Byrne plays Fairy Mary in the Cheerios Panto Snow White at Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre from December 4 to January 13 See tivoli.ie for tickets.
Hill Street Blues