Anna Daly's ambitious Sunday morning lie-in
It's a weekend when another group of slightly talented yet plucky hopefuls will walk out into the dry ice smoke of the X-Factor stage for the scrutiny of a worldwide audience. And if anyone can empathise with how they must be feeling it's Anna Daly - she's in London to interview the judges for the launch of the new season of the mother of all talent shows.
This segment will in turn be part of the first edition of Saturday AM and Sunday AM, TV3's new flagship programme which Daly will front alongside the steady hands of Ivan Yates and Simon Delaney.
Much of Daly's success on Saturday AM and Sunday AM will of course depend on her chemistry with Delaney and their experienced co-host, Ivan Yates. "I've done photoshoots with Ivan and we got on great, I'm looking forward to working with him. What I hadn't realised is that Simon has so many strings to his bow. He's an actor and a voiceover artist and, of course, he's a dad, and we'll have lots of family-focussed features on the programme. It will be a good mix."
Daly says the programme will have a "lazier" vibe than Ireland AM, the weekday programme where she worked for six years. "And by lazy, I just mean we'll be conscious of the fact that the vibe of a weekend morning is so different - people aren't hurrying up and out. It's nice to play into the extra time of the weekend, and that will be reflected in the content."
The 38-year-old has two young sons, Euan, two and James, three, and says that after returning from maternity leave the first time, she was a "mark 2 version of myself". "Of course I had the fear like any working mother but I actually loved being back in work and I went for things more. In the first few days back I was thinking to myself 'I had a baby!' I had a fear my whole life that I'd never be able to go through childbirth because I was so squeamish about blood and needles and when I got through that everything else felt easy. I took a great amount of confidence from that."
The 9am on-air start "will actually be a nice lie-in" compared with the very early starts of Ireland AM, she says and that the corresponding free time during the week will "ease my working mother's guilt." She says that she and her husband, Ben, have avoided the morning presenter curse of separate beds. "We haven't gone down that route, thank God, although I'm terrible for getting enough sleep. It can be hard to go to bed early even if you know you should. When you have two kids it's eight o'clock by the time you've put them to bed and read them a story, and when all that's done you sort of feel 'it's my time now'. My husband says I potter around a lot." Both children are in a creche and, she says, "It's like another mortgage."
Daly grew up in Templeogue in Dublin, worked for a few years as marketing manager for TV3 before becoming a presenter with Ireland AM. While sharing presenting duties at Ireland AM she has been trying hard to find a vehicle for herself in recent years, even, she says, in the face of some rejection. "It's giving me the promotion I've been looking for, I've been knocking on doors in TV3 for the last few years! The initial thing was, 'Oh, weekend television is very expensive, but now obviously they've come around. I think it shows: knock on enough doors and it will eventually pay off!"
She and her family moved house recently - they live in Delgany in Wicklow - and, along with the job move, she says it "feels like everything is happening all at the same time." Not that she's bothered by that. "It would be nice if everything was planned but you don't always have that luxury. I spoke to Dermot O'Leary recently and he told me that he never knows what's going to happen over the next five years. That gives me a lot of comfort!"
See Anna Daly on Sunday AM today on TV3 from 9am