'a fitz' scared' | 

Emma Doran says she was ‘terrified’ of being paired with Davy Fitzgerald on Fittest Family

The brave stand-up and her family are set to appear on the charity version of the gruelling RTE fitness show on St Stephen’s Day

Davy with Emma and her daughter Ella, aunt Susan and cousin Owen

Davy puts Emma through her paces in the Christmas special

Deirdre ReynoldsSunday World

Comedian Emma Doran has admitted she was “terrified” of being paired with Davy Fitzgerald on Ireland’s Fittest Family Celebrity Special.

The brave stand-up and her family are set to appear on the charity version of the gruelling RTE fitness show on St Stephen’s Day.

But she confessed to having second thoughts after discovering they would be coached by the tough-talking hurling manager on the popular show.

Davy puts Emma through her paces in the Christmas special

“I was actually dreading Davy because I watch the show at home,” says Emma. “And I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have a Jack Russell already — I don’t need another one.

“I was just like, this lad yapping in my face now, give it over. But, do you know what, he was actually so sound on and off camera. Now I don’t know what he said when we weren’t looking, but I thought he was lovely.

“He was great craic. He was showing us pictures of the family and all that. Shouting at us wouldn’t have done much either — I think he probably knows the team he has.”

Dubliner Emma enlisted her 19-year-old daughter, Ella, aunt Susan Mulrane and cousin Owen Mulrane to complete the family team taking on the programme’s infamously challenging course.

And she joked that her heart dropped when she saw that the other clans battling it out for €10,000 for their chosen charity included superfit Glenda Gilson and Tadhg Fleming.

The runners-up also get €1,000 for a cause close to their heart.

“The producers told me, ‘Oh, it’s just a bit of craic, it’s for charity’,” recalls podcaster Emma, who is representing youth cancer support group CanTeen Ireland in memory of a close friend who died this year. “Then we got there, we saw all the other people and we were like, ‘What the f***!’ Tadhg had just done Ultimate Hell Week, so had Blathnaid [Treacy].

“Definitely some of them, I was like, ‘Can I see some birth certs because I don’t think any of these people are related’. I was like, ‘You’ve clearly gone and paid athletes’.

“I was really stuck for family members I could ask,” she confesses. “At the time, I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll just ask my brothers’ — one of them does marathons and all this kind of stuff. They were like, ‘Not a hope, Emma — give us a shout when it’s Gogglebox’.

“My mam was saying to me, ‘Please don’t ask your father’. He’s probably been smoking 40 a day since he was eight years old, and he’ll do anything for a laugh, but it wouldn’t be funny — he’d have to be airlifted out of the place.

“So it’s me, my daughter, my aunty, who’s in her 60s, and then I did ask my cousin because he actually is a personal trainer. My thinking was if there’s a swamp or something at least he can drag us through it. You can tell we really went to win!”

Former office worker Emma embarks on a nationwide tour in 2023, including her first headline gig at Dublin’s Vicar Street.

And the 38-year-old told how she still can’t believe she gets to make others laugh for a living.

“I still look at the jobs section all the time,” reveals the mum-of-three. “Old habits die hard. It’s probably just going to take me a while to adjust in my head that I’m a full-time comedian.”

  • Ireland’s Fittest Family Celebrity Special is on Monday at 8pm on RTE One.


Today's Headlines

More Celebrity

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos