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Anna Daly says her dad Noel’s sense of humour was a 'huge asset' as he recovers after battling cancer

'There's no doubt that his illness has made us all appreciate him being around'
Anna and her dad Noel

Anna and her dad Noel

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Anna Daly has revealed how her dad Noel’s sense of humour has been a “huge asset” as he recovers after battling cancer during lockdown.

Noel has been undergoing months of treatment since being diagnosed with prostate cancer but the TV presenter told RSVP Magazine that while it's been a tough journey, her dad is getting his strength back.

"Getting his strength back after cancer treatment is never going to be easy and I've so much sympathy for anyone who has gone through that cancer journey,” she said.

"The radiation that my Dad received will keep the cancer at bay but it also takes a lot from you. He's getting there though and his sense of humour around his illness has been a huge asset."

Anna also described how her family had been brought closer together through the challenging months posed by her father's illness, as well as the pandemic.

"During lockdown, FaceTime was a hugely beneficial way to keep in touch but also I think in many ways the absences made us all realise the importance of family," she went on.

"Of course, my dad going through illness in addition to the fears and anxiousness of Covid made it very tough but feeling like you're helping and supporting them by dropping off groceries and chatting from the garden made it more human.

"It connected my husband (Ben) more with my parents too as he did so many of those shops and drops!

"There's no doubt that his illness has made us all appreciate him being around and although we (I) wreck his head with suggestions that he improve his diet, get more exercise or drink more water (I never stop with that one!). I think he knows it all comes from a good place."

Anna, who is mum to three boys - James, Euan and Rhys - said she delights in seeing how Noel gets on with his grandkids.

"These days it's spent with my kids and I get such a kick out of how much fun both my parents get from the antics of our little boys, “she added.

“My dad knocks endless craic from them, laughs heartily at the things they say and much like my business, he likes to be kept updated on their football scores each weekend if he hasn't seen the match himself."

Last August, the Dublin-born broadcaster announced that she would be leaving Ireland AM in September and wrapped up her final breakfast show weeks later.

In later months, Anna spent her time as a regular panellist on RTÉ’s Today Show and was quickly snapped up as a consultant with The Communications Clinic.

Anna admitted that leaving Virgin Media was “very liberating” as it allowed her to work on several projects at once.

“It’s all good in the freelance world, so far anyway. I was used to being on staff for a fair chunk of my career, so you get used to the comfort of that,” she told the Sunday World at the time.

“But what also comes with that is the restrictions, and this is a lovely world for me now to be able to say yes to things, and to be able to make my own decisions and to create my own diary appointments and talk to whatever journalist I want to talk to.

“That’s actually very liberating having come from a very structured environment where everything is quite controlled.”

Anna added that lockdown helped her to re-evaluate everything.

“It’s starting to sound a bit clichéd now, isn’t it, but during lockdown I think we all re-evaluated everything,” she said.

“You start to realise that we’re all in a bit of a rat race. When my husband lost his family business, it gave me a bit of a kick up the arse, because the things you think are safe are no longer safe at all, they’re volatile.”

“You could never predict a global pandemic and the shutters being down on stores all over the country.”


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