budding romance | 

Dáithí Ó Sé recalls moment he first met 'beautiful' wife Rita during Rose of Tralee

'I didn’t even know her before she walked into the room, but I still remember the second she walked in and oh my god she was beautiful'
Dáithí Ó Sé and wife Rita Talty

Dáithí Ó Sé and wife Rita Talty

Seoirse Mulgrew

Dáithí Ó Sé has recalled the moment he first met his now wife Rita Talty when she was a contestant on the Rose of Tralee in 2008.

The TV presenter has hosted the contest for 10 years and met Rita when she auditioned in 2008 as the New Jersey Rose. The couple have a seven-year-old son together Mícheal Og.

“I didn’t even know her before she walked into the room, but I still remember the second she walked in and oh my god she was, she still is beautiful, but she had lovely, tanned skin and a beautiful red dress.

“And I was there saying ‘how are ya loveen’ - that was my inner voice now. It was a good while after that before we became friends, and we were friends for maybe two years before we got together.

“We really got on and had a good laugh together and then it kind of happened on Facebook where we would message each other once a month, and then after six months it became once a week and then it was once a day and then it was all day every day,” he told Angela Scanlon's Ask Me Anything on RTÉ One.

Ó Sé said it was “huge” for him to get the gig of hosting the iconic festival.

“To get the gig was huge for me – it was something I never thought would come my way. Even though I had been involved with the Kerry rose selection for maybe seven or eight years before that and I was on the judging panel a few times as well.

“Even before I got the gig, I was on the judging panel the year Rita didn’t win it as her mother keeps reminding me,” he said.

The Kerry man also showed off his ‘man spanx’ which he wears to keep himself “together”. He said he missed out on his usual training regime in preparation for the Rose of Tralee as it was cancelled the last two years due to the pandemic.

“Usually during the Rose of Tralee, and the lead up to it, I go on a diet, and I go running and cycling and I drop around a stone and a half, but because we haven’t had the Rose of Tralee for the last couple of years the stone and a half stayed so that’s three stone now.

“So, when I’m sitting down, I need a small bit of help to keep myself together – it's man spanx I suppose really. I’ve nothing to hide, only the belly,” he said.

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