Utterly dismantling the jaded notion that women aren’t as funny as men, Jennifer Maguire continues to lead the pack on RTE 2’s Republic of Telly, arguably one of the most enjoyable offerings from our national broadcaster, as well as waking us up with a few giggles on 2FM’s Breakfast Republic. No doubt inspiring a legion of young media graduates to follow in her impressive footsteps, here we find out what tickles her fancy, how she keeps all those plates spinning and what it takes to go the distance.
How would you describe yourself?
A northside girl who loves her grub and has an obsession with Billy Crystal. I’m a presenter and a comedy actress who gets to have a mess with two beauts every weekday morning on Breakfast Republic on 2fm. In your face and in your ears.
Run us through your average day…
My day starts at 5.45 when I crawl out of bed and get myself together to get in to the studio to start my morning breakfast show with Bernard O Shea who makes great tea and Keith Walsh who has great tee shirts and doesn’t eat sugar. I know; weird. After the show it’s brekkie gawking at the fair city cast in the RTE canteen then we prep our show for the next day. Lately I have been running over to the TV building then to film sketches for Republic Of Telly, which is now in its 11th series! After eating my way through probably 3 packets of biscuits to keep the tiredness at bay I probably get home around six or seven and relax until the mayhem starts all over again. Some days when I get home I try and write sketches or write my column I do weekly. A trip to the gym twice a week begrudgingly and a visit to see my Dad’s dog Sparkey if I need to destress and spend some time with something furry.
How did you wind up on this career path?
I think I got very lucky but once I was in the door I worked so hard to stay here because I love it so much. I had a business for years but after a brief encounter on the UK Apprentice I was asked to do a audition for a new comedy show called Republic Of Telly for RTE 2 and I haven’t looked back since. It was lucky to get the foot in the door but hard work staying inside and still is.
What advice would you have for someone else interested in the same type of career?
Have a back up. The job is unreliable and I think because I had my own business and other things going the pressure to ‘make it’ was never there. Try and create or write and have your own ideas and don’t be a diva or an asshole to anyone. It will get you nowhere.
What personality traits do you think are essential for a career in the media?
You can’t be too sensitive to work in this industry. Everyone has an opinion on you so take the compliments with a pinch of salt and the same with any criticism. You can only be yourself everyone else is taken.
You do so much, how do you juggle it all and stay sane?
I have always loved work. When I had a sales company in the UK I worked twice as hard so this is easy! I love my work I wouldn’t do it otherwise. I have more fun doing it then I do having ‘fun’ so I never moan or resent giving my time. It helps doing what you love. But I do make sure I get down time and spending time with family and friends is always a priority.
How did you feel the very first time you appeared on TV?
I suppose that was the Apprentice days. I felt a little exposed and angry it was edited so heavily. Now it’s different as I have much more control. I always thought I was better looking that I actually am so that’s odd.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve been given lots of advice through the years but I always revert back to ‘fuck it’ If I’m feeling upset or down or unsure it’s the two words that help me push through. There is a book called the ‘fuck it’ book and explores the theory behind the words. It’s a bit mad but makes complete sense to me.
Your number 1 inspiration?
People I work with inspire me every day.
Have you got a life philosophy?
Positive mental thoughts = positive actions = positive results.
Have you got a quote to live by/favourite quote?
You never know what great heights you can soar unless you spread your wings.
When Harry met Sally (explaining my obsession with Billy crystal)
Favourite beauty goodies?
Dermologica and Mac make up
Biggest ever splurge?
Best ever bargain?
I bought an armchair in a charity shop for ten euro for our sitting room.
At the moment because I’m pregnant I love my maternity skinny jeans from top shop and converse.
CONGRATS! What most people don’t know about you?
I love to fish.
Most embarassing moment?
I walked into a glass door and landed on my arse at rush hour getting off a train at pearse street and clocked myself.
Idea of the perfect day?
A day chilling with my other half.
I love a gin and tonic. I miss gin. Mmmmm gin.
We’re with you there. When you’re not working, we’ll most likely find you…
At home working.
If I wasn’t doing this job I’d be…
Still running a photographic company
The best thing about my work is…
I laugh 90% of the time I’m doing it.
Follow Jennifer Maguire on Twitter @JenniferMaguire
Photos by Ailbhe O’Donnell