| 12°C Dublin

male audience Ireland AM star Anna Daly says more men watching show due to work from home

"I suppose most men don’t watch breakfast TV because they’re sitting in traffic, or they’re on their way to the office. That might sound sexist, but it’s the reality."


Anna Daly

Anna Daly

Anna Daly

She has helped keep the Irish nation entertained throughout the challenges of the past year, but Ireland AM favourite Anna Daly welcomed her presenting role as a pleasant distraction.

However, during the early days the mum of three feared the plug could be pulled at any moment due to the pandemic.

Anna said: “Initially we were all anxious. We continued to broadcast, but we weren’t sure whether we’d be off air the next week.

"My co-host Simon Delaney and I went into our own presenter pod, and luckily we’re like brother and sister so it worked. Not to mention it was a lovely contrast to home-schooling, and as a result I got away with some of it.”

“I like the change,” says Daly (43). “We’ve had housewives and female viewers from day one, and I suppose most men don’t watch breakfast TV because they’re sitting in traffic, or they’re on their way to the office. That might sound sexist, but it’s the reality.

“Suddenly there were more of them at home who were available to tune in, so it has to be good news. My husband, [Ben Ward], has been at home baking sourdough bread, and he’s become more interested in content like that, so I think it’s really encouraging.”

The news anchor has also been vocal in backing local after her husband’s family-run business, Mothercare Ireland, closed its doors last summer.

“I’ll still be doing a staycation this year regardless of whether we can fly or not. I did several of them last year and it was absolutely glorious. I discovered beaches in Ireland that I never knew existed, and on a summer’s day they were so gorgeous that I could have been anywhere.”

It hasn’t been plain sailing completely for Daly, whose beloved father Noel (77) was diagnosed with prostate cancer but is now in recovery after receiving radiotherapy in lockdown.

The whole experience has made her even more health conscious. “My brother who is in Australia was my first port of call. I was straight on to him, saying, ‘I hope you’re checking yourself all the time’.

“He’s like any young man whereby he lives a busy life, and it’s all motorbikes, cars and work.

“My three sons are very young, but of course I will be reminding them at every turn to check themselves when they’re older.

“There’s a new generation, and I think conversations like that are now as normal as saying, ‘I’ve broken my arm.’”

The Virgin Media star has also expressed her relief at both her parents being fully vaccinated and maintains it has taken the edge off the worry.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

“I can actually feel my shoulders drop now that both my parents have received their jabs. I will happily embrace science when it comes to getting mine, and I have no qualms about doing so.”

Working in the showbiz industry means her friends are always keen to get the inside scoop, she says.

“The way I summarise it is: the bigger the celebrity, the more sound they are.”

She cites Graham Norton as an example of a down-to-earth person who does not rely on an entourage.

“It’s a sophistication and a confidence that comes with being a bigger star,” she says.

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

Top Videos