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Karl Broderick and Alan Hughes

Karl Broderick and Alan Hughes

Karl Broderick and Alan Hughes

TV star Alan Hughes admits he has got a “marmite reaction” to his dramatic image change after the presenter grew his first ever beard.

“It has got such a mixed reaction, some loved it some hated it,” Alan tells Sundayworld.com

“It has been a mixed bag. Somebody said I look sexy, I’m 20 years doing Ireland AM and I don’t think anyone has ever said that, so I'm taking that!”

The Virgin Media star, who was speaking at the station’s Spring launch this morning, confesses there were a number of reasons behind his new look – which got the thumbs up from his bearded husband Karl Broderick.

“Because we were off over Christmas and I just let it grow,” he explains. “We weren’t going out, we weren’t meeting anyone.

“And Karl liked it. Karl has a brilliant beard, his beard if fabulous. He sort of said ‘keep it’ and I said ‘ok’.

“I said ‘I’ll keep it, I’ll call it my lockdown beard and I will keep it until we get out of this lockdown and then I will decide whether to shave it off or not’.

“But I’m keeping if for the moment. It’s so crazy at the moment, that anything to give you some diversion or something new.”

He adds: “I’ve never grown a beard before as I’m sort of blondie-red and I never really liked it, so I’m trying it out now.”

Asked if he is suffering from beard rash, he laughed: “You will have to ask Karl about that!.”

But there’s no competition between the couple in the beard stakes.

"I would never outdo his, because he has been growing his for years,” he stresses.

Alan also discloses that the couple are at odds over the Covid-19 vaccine.

“I'd be first in line! I'd say give it to me now,” exclaims Alan. “Karl is a bit more wary and would rather see how it pans out as he says we don’t know enough about it

“I’m going ‘we do know enough, why would you not get it?’.”

The couple staged Peter Pan panto outdoors at Malahide castle last month

“It was a real yo-yo, where it went ahead, then was stopped and got a reprieve on Christmas Eve for a few days and then was stopped again,” he reflects.

“We don’t know what we will do next year, whether to go ahead at all.”

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