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Bittersweet 2FM's Doireann Garrihy reveals she will miss beloved grandad this Christmas

It has been a busy few years for Doireann Garrihy but as the 2FM Breakfast Show presenter prepares for her brand new RTE Player special, Reeling In The Fears, we catch up to talk about her dog, learning on the job and Christmas without her beloved grandad

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Doireann Garrihy. Photo: Andres Poveda

Doireann Garrihy. Photo: Andres Poveda

Doireann Garrihy. Photo: Andres Poveda

I'VE never interviewed Doireann while she was on her own. There have been RTÉ launches when she was huddled in with other stars around a table or that time herself and Eoghan McDermott were announced as the new presenters of 2FM's morning show.

I also had the pleasure of sitting down with herself, her sisters and her mum for an exclusive shoot a few years back.

I am telling you this because I never got full Doireann. Well, until last week when I chatted to her for 25 minutes on the phone and we chatted about a whole host of topics like her new RTÉ Player show coming out this week, the bittersweet relationship she has with her adorable dog, crying twice at Christmas and her radio show's poor ratings in the recent JNLR numbers.

Usually if a DJ is dealt a blow of reduced ratings in the quarterly polls war, they come up with a whole host of excuses when talking to the press to keep their ego intact and to try and convince us to write positives about a flawed show which in turn will convince you guys to start listening again.

But Garrihy was refreshingly realistic about the fact that her 2FM show Breakfast with Doireann and Eoghan dropped 9,000 listeners to 125,000 in the latest polls.

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Doireann with her mum Clare and sisters Aoibhín and Ailbhe. Photo: Mark Condren

Doireann with her mum Clare and sisters Aoibhín and Ailbhe. Photo: Mark Condren

Doireann with her mum Clare and sisters Aoibhín and Ailbhe. Photo: Mark Condren

"I could tell you right now that it was something to do with the pandemic, or I could tell you it was a freak result but it wasn't. I know some people don't take them seriously, but we have to. I certainly do. And we have someone who breaks them down for us into minute details so we can find out what works and what doesn't.

"So we take that little hiccup and we make our show better for it. Nothing else. And to be honest the whole thing took the wind out of our sails a little bit because the numbers only came out a few weeks after we won an IMRO (think Irish radio Oscars)," she laughs.

The 28-year-old Instagram star-turned-DJ is just as honest when it comes to her Christmas plans next week. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and the size of her family, who live in various corners of the country, she will be spending the day with her parents and her dog.

"I'm that kid again," she jokes. "My sisters Aoibhín and Ailbhe will be doing their own thing with their families. They are both mums now and have decided to stay away so it will just be me and my folks. And Bertie of course," she blasts with excitement.

"When I realised it was just going to be the three of us I chatted to mum and told her that we need to have a schedule. Her dad passed away this year so it's the first Christmas without him so I told her that we will wake up and have a cry. Then we might go for a swim if we can and if the weather is OK. And then we will definitely have another little cry around the time that grandad would normally arrive.

"Then we will get on with the main event. And it will be lovely. We'll call the others and we'll celebrate from a distance. After the year we've all just had I have no problem having a slightly different Christmas too." But what about her boyfriend Paddy? "Ha! He's doing the exact same as me. He's going home to his folks. I get Bertie though," she giddily reveals.

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Doireann with boyfriend Paddy

Doireann with boyfriend Paddy

Doireann with boyfriend Paddy

Earlier this year Paddy bought Doireann their dog as a special birthday gift during lockdown. It came a while after a family dog, Bob, had been savagely killed by an Alsatian so the new puppy was a bittersweet arrival.

"We all miss Bob so much. I know people lose dogs all the time but the way in which we lost him was so tragic. But Bertie has filled a hole in my life I didn't know I needed. He is so much a part of my life now. I am so grateful for having him."

However, a one thing the DJ isn't always grateful for is her early starts. "We're on air at 6am so my alarm goes off at 5.10am every morning. "I quickly throw my clothes on and head off. Sometimes I even wash myself," she laughs. "We have most of the prep done the day before so I can sit right into my seat and just chat away."

So are Doireann and Eoghan like most other radio couples who don't spend any time with each other outside of the studio? Again, in a refreshingly welcome answer she says: "Yeah, pretty much. We are mates but we see enough of each other during the week to not hang out afterwards. I don't think that's weird.

"I think everyone is the same. Well, except for Dermot and Dave [Today FM DJs] who are completely inseparable. I think both their families went on holiday to Australia together. Jesus. Myself and Eoghan won't be heading off on holidays, put it that way.

So is her new show similar to last year's Doireann Project? "Not at all actually, except for the fact that it is on the RTE Player. They wanted me to do something coming up to Christmas and we toyed with idea of another series, like last year, but then we came up with an idea to look back at 2020 with a bit of comedy.

"We all know it's been a shit year but there was some fun moments too. So I won't be sitting in make-up getting done up as Daithi O'Sé, sorry to disappoint, I will just be a hyper version of me. If that's what you're in to?"

⬤ Doireann's comedy Reeling in the Fears is available to watch on RTÉ Player from Thursday December 17

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