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14th Feb 2013

Hurling, High Heels & Having The Craic: Catches Up With Anne Doyle

Anne Doyle is something of an Irish icon. For years she was a fixture in sitting rooms across the country at 9pm every night. So what has the former newsreader been up to? We sat down with her for a chat...

There’s no denying it, ever since Anne Doyle left our television screens, the newsreader has been greatly missed. For years, Anne was a fixture in every Irish sitting room at 9pm on the dot and you can’t help but feel ever-so-slightly nostalgic about her broadcasts.

The good news is that since leaving the RTE newsroom, Anne has been keeping busy and she’s more than up for some friendly banter when we catch up with her at the launch of Eircom’s new PhoneWatch Report.

“One thing I was astounded by was the fact that one in five people rated the impact of burglary as similiar to losing their job!” says Anne, as she takes a swig of tea.

The first thing you notice about Anne Doyle is the fact that her personality seems to take up the entire room. She’s warm, friendly, full of jokes and bustles around the place like a Mammy (she keeps offering us tea and food – legend!).

We’re here to chat to Anne about a host of topics but we’ll admit that there’s just one thing we really, really, really want to know:

So, we have to ask you. What did you think about Aengus MacGrianna’s recent on-air slip up? Did you hear about it?

Of course I heard about it. We had a great laugh about it. He’s a star – he’s a superstar after it for God’s sake! And he took it terrifically well. But sure it was nothing, he didn’t do anything in the world that he could’ve avoided. And he had the spin-off of being in the global village and being on all these shows in the States.

He took it in very good form. Sure he was delighted with it. I mean, it’s made him an absolute celebrity. Aengus and I are great pals and I think he handled it absolutely perfectly. Plus his ‘what?!’ face was good. [Anne does an impression] WHAT?!?! [laughs].

Okay, enough about Aengus’ embarrassing moments. What about you? Do you have any?

Many [laughs]. Somebody pressing the wrong button in the middle of a VT and me coming up powdering my face. But in those days you didn’t have to worry about it being on YouTube. I can remember one of the papers took a freeze-frame from the television and printed it. So yeah. I’ve done the Aengus thing.

In those days though the worst you got was somebody slagged you in the papers the next day. I missed my opportunity for online fame like Aengus!

You could have been an internet celebrity…

I know! I rang Aengus and I said that it could’ve been me. I was ahead of my time. It was exactly the same thing, only I didn’t go “WHAT?!?!” [laughs]. I went “Oh sh*t!” but not out loud of course.

Anne launching the new report from Eircom Phone Watch

So do you miss the newsroom?

It was great while it lasted. It lasted a long time, so I was happy to move on.

And what are you up to now?

I’m pratically living in Wexford doing bits and pieces and sure here, haven’t I gotten a bit of work here too. I’m putting in alarms. No bother to me!

Now we know you’re an avid camogie fan but what about hurling or football?

The Wexford footballers! I met a few of them when I was down for a fundraiser for county GAA clubs. By God, they’re some fine looking young fellas. I was only observing you’ll understand – just looking out for young people. But those footballers!

There were three or four of them there and I swear one was better looking than the other. They really were. They were like male models but without all the poncing. But oh yeah, I took careful note! In my next life… [laughs].

Enough about footballers, let’s talk beauty. What are some of your must-have beauty products?

Foundation to cover my bad skin – my broken veins inherited from my dear father. Mascara.

Do you have any favourite brands?

Oh yes. Lancome Hypnose.

Would it be your desert island beauty product?

Well I might get a nice tan on the desert island but I’d still be looking for foundation to cover the veins. And mascara and a lip stick or a lip gloss.

Speaking about beauty, how do you stay looking so young? Do you have a skincare regime?

As you can see by the cut of me, no [laughs]. I’m afraid I haven’t been as diligent as I should have been in that department but I slap on a bit of Lancome if I have it. My skin has done its best for me. I didn’t probably give it as much opportunities as I should have.

Anne is known for her fashion sense

When it comes to fashion, what do you like?

I like clothes that I’m comfortable in, like a lot of women. I’m at a stage in life where I’m like ‘what can i wear and what can I fit in?’ I have friends in Libra, they’re an Irish brand, and I wear a lot of their stuff. They make very practical clothes and other than that I wear jeans. I’m probably too old to be wearing jeans but I do it anyway.

Shoes would be my big weakness. I love shoes but now I don’t wear the killers that I used to.

Working in a newsroom for years must have been pretty stressful. How do you relax after a hectic day?

I probably sit down and drink too much [laughs]. No, I read. I read everything. I know it sounds like a lazy answer but it’s not. I demolish thrillers.

Would you ever consider writing a memoir or anything?

No, not a memoir. I’m trying to write short stories at the moment for my own amusements. Some I like, some i don’t like but we’ll see how it goes.

And what about the internet? Are you an online addict?

I’m not too good in that department. I have improved greatly since I got the iPhone because I find it very easy.

So you’ll never become a Twitter fanatic then so?

Forgive me, I cannot ‘get’ Twitter. I just can’t ‘get’ it. It’s beyond me. And I fully accept that I’m swimming against the tide here but I just don’t see the appeal of it. Look, it’s an age thing. Make allowances for me!

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