| 9.6°C Dublin

starting fresh Anna Daly says leaving Ireland AM has been 'quite liberating'

Mum Anna Daly on finding her ‘Little Bliss’ since walking away from Weekend AM to “future-proof” her family’s life.

Close

Anna says her usual style is cosy casual

Anna says her usual style is cosy casual

Anna Daly has gone from TV presenter to athleisurewear queen

Anna Daly has gone from TV presenter to athleisurewear queen

/

Anna says her usual style is cosy casual

ON television, she’s the picture of polished calm; at home, it’s ‘messy bun, get things done’ for Anna Daly, as she gets ready to pick sons James (10), Euan (8) and Rhys (5) up from school.

The former Ireland AM presenter recently walked away from the organised chaos of morning television at Virgin Media, but sidestepping laundry and toys to get to the phone, the busy mum admits life hasn’t gotten any less chaotic.

“Oh listen, I long to live in a showhouse and I haven’t given up the dream yet,” she jokes.

“My husband is like, ‘Get over yourself!’

“I’m getting better at sucking up the mess because you become this pain in the arse cranky mother trying to make things perfect all the time.

"The walls are wrecked, the skirting boards are destroyed, there’s hoverboards in the hallway — it’s not the way I planned it.

Close

Anna with her three boys, James, Euan and Rhys

Anna with her three boys, James, Euan and Rhys

Anna with her three boys, James, Euan and Rhys

“But they’re great; we now have three kids in the same school, that’s quite a treat — one drop off. Rhys is five today so we have a cake and all that ready to go.”

Singing ‘happy birthday’ may be synonymous with hand-washing after the world was also thrown into disarray by Covid-19 last year, just not at the family’s Wicklow home, tells Anna:

“They were oblivious, really.

"You know when people were talking about, ‘I don’t want to scare the children too much’, I was the other side; I was like, I kind of need to scare them a bit into washing their hands properly!”

Like many parents across the country, it was a blissful ignorance sadly not afforded to their mum and dad, Ben Ward, whose Mothercare Ireland franchise went to the wall during lockdown.

Close

Anna with weekend co-host Simon Delaney

Anna with weekend co-host Simon Delaney

Anna with weekend co-host Simon Delaney

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

His wife, meanwhile, became the high-profile face of the ‘Big Quit’ — the name being given to 2021’s global wave of resignations as workers reassess their work/life balance — when she became the first of the big names to depart Ballymount on her own terms in August.

“It’s starting to sound a bit clichéd now, isn’t it, but during lockdown I think we all re-evaluated everything,” says Anna, who’s since been followed out the door by Laura Woods and, most recently, Glenda Gilson, amid a major restructuring at the station.

“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.

"And Mothercare Ireland is a perfect example of that - we thought that was the safest thing in the world.

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

Nor could anyone have predicted that professionals the world over would be swapping their daily uniform of suits and ties for tracksuits and slippers to work from home, inspiring the presenter-turned-designer to launch her own range of cosy clothing called Little Bliss.

“The idea had been rattling around in my brain for years about a casual collection,” she tells.

“But I couldn’t ever have anticipated that the world’s CEOs would be sitting on Zoom calls wearing hoodies — because that would have been pretty impressive — so the timing obviously turned out well.

“What I was thinking about for years was: I’m seen in dressy clothes in studio, kind of TV glamour, but actually the reality of my world is running around after three little boys in hoodies and jeans.

"So I felt if I’m to be true to my real style, it is very casual.

“It’s organic cotton,” she adds of the sustainable range for adults and kids, “so it’ll be in your wardrobe for years. If people are living in it, then my job’s done as far as I’m concerned.”

With the help of a lust-worthy Instagram feed, in the space of a year, Anna has gone from personally packing the stylish-but-snuggly hoodies, sweatshirts and tees in her kids’ play room as orders pinged in to having to restock the best-selling grey ‘Weekender’ hoodie (€55) five times and counting.

“Be careful what you wish for, eh?” laughs the multi-tasking star, who has also popped up on RTÉ’s Today Show and been snapped up by The Communications Clinic as a consultant since leaving Virgin Media Television.

Close

Anna with husband Ben and their three sons

Anna with husband Ben and their three sons

Anna with husband Ben and their three sons

“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.

"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.”

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


Privacy