Daly Life | Woman’s Way Catches Up With Anna Daly

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The TV3 reporter chats about interviewing the stars, baby weight and what’s next.

It’s a conveyor belt of madness but if you enjoy it, it’s a great fun programme to work on,” says Anna Daly. She has been Ireland AM’s roving reporter for the last six years and now, with their newly spruced up studio, she says she and the team are ready to face the future. “It’s all change but after 15 years that’s no harm.”

Anna’s role on the show means that she doesn’t get to have as much contact with the team as the others but says that, “They are like a second family… we have our good days and our bad days and there’s ups and downs just like any other family. From the viewers’ perspective they probably think when I’m not there I’m not working but unfortunately not! I’ll be in London doing interviews or filming packages that will be shown later on the week.”

Busy is a word all too familiar to Anna, especially when it comes to the big celebrity interviews that regularly take her out of the country to meet the stars.

“On Friday I have to go and interview Liam Neeson and next week Helen Mirren and Cameron Diaz in London which is very cool.”

I wonder if she still gets a thrill out of meeting such big names.

“It’s a surreal moment. It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you meet. There’s still a novelty factor for sure, going to interviews. Friends and family get a great kick out of it.”

She says though that there is an altogether less showbiz side to things.

“There is the very unglamorous part of it that nobody sees. The buying cups of coffee in places so you can use their bathroom to put your make-up on. That side of it is the reality. My friends and family think it’s such a glamorous job and I’m spoilt rotten but they’ve probably learnt by now that it’s not always glamorous.” Not that Anna is ungrateful.

“I’m always very conscious I have a very special job. I heard often when I was on maternity leave, people talking about, ‘I’d love not to go back to work.’ You hear a lot of new mums say that. I remember sitting in coffee shops with your new baby and thinking, ‘God, I’m the opposite.’ Not that I want to run away from this child but I do want a balance in my life. And I was looking forward to going back to work.”

She says that the key to a good interview is identifying with the person you are talking to and getting them to trust you. “With Khloé Kardashian I had a whole list of things I was told I couldn’t ask and we ended up talking about half of those things because you approach it in a different way. You have to be a bit clever about it.”

Not that it’s all plain sailing, she has spoken to her fair share of difficult people. While there have been no huge disasters she says, “There are times when you do think, ‘This chat is not setting the world on fire.’”

What she says is that, “I find it’s the lesser known names who are the hardest work… I think the ones who have new found fame are divas and want everything and they are spoilt because it’s all so new to them.”

The person top of her wishlist of interviewees was a new mother with whom she could identify.

“Kate Winslet was always one of the people I looked up to and admired. I got to interview her recently and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t overwhelmed when I walked into the room to see her sitting there.”

Anna says, “Kate had just had a baby and to be honest she had that look of just having a baby, I mean that in the kindest way possible because I’ve been there. I know exactly what it was like to get dressed up when you’re not feeling your most wonderful and shapely. I felt that day that’s where she was too.”

Anna’s own post baby figure (she gave birth to baby Euan in March 2013) is something she says she doesn’t let bother her
too much.

“I am laidback. I said to a journalist recently that if I felt pressure to be skinny, I would be skinny. I’m not skinny at all [Woman’s Way disagrees with this!] but it doesn’t really bother me. I still have baby weight to lose but it doesn’t keep me awake at night or stop me having a dessert when I’m out for a meal. I don’t deny myself a whole lot. I could show more discipline.”

As regards fashion Anna says, “To go shopping on the high street is probably a luxury these days never mind thinking about buying designer wear.”

She says that because of the changes in the economy and being a mum, “I’ve changed the way I shop, I would have picked up a top randomly on a Saturday afternoon for that night. Whereas I don’t really do that any more, I’m more thoughtful about my purchases.”

Her opinion is that, “I think the content of what you say and how you come across on a programme like mine is much more important than how you look. I hope that is the case.”

As a mother to two boys she says that with her busy schedule there is one person she couldn’t do it without.

“We have my mum child minding which is integral to the system working, she is the backbone to the family.

“We’re so lucky to have her. My mum gave up work, and she’d worked all her life, to look after my first little boy. It’s lovely for me, it’s so easy to be able to pick up the phone to your mum and say, your flight’s delayed or you’re stuck in traffic, I never even have to explain.”

Being in a house full of men is something that Anna says can sometimes be tough.

“There are times where you want to just scream, ‘Stop kicking balls in the house, stop throwing things against a wall, it’s so loud!’ Everything is so big and they’re really awkward and there are times I think about how easy if would be if I had two girls who played with their toys gently on the floor. Obviously I wouldn’t change it, it’s great fun.”

She rules out trying to add a little girl to her family. “I came from a two children family so it’s normal for me and I’m very happy with my lot and I feel very lucky. I feel now it’s time for me to focus on my career and look at the next stage. I’m not quite sure what that is yet.”

I mention that I think Anna would be the perfect person to front a chat show.

“I’d love that, love that! I love the idea of a chat show. I’ve said I love the idea of Ireland PM. Something with a bit more time, a bit slower in pace and a bit risqué. Something where you’re not being too cautious about what you say.” Now there’s a thought…WW


See Anna on Ireland AM on TV3, weekdays from 7am