Friday 9 December 2016

''How the f**k did we even survive living in the eighties?' - Jennifer Zamparelli on Bridget and Eamon nostalgia

Published 21/09/2016 | 07:39

Jennifer Zamparelli’s 1980s-set comedy series about a married Irish couple is set to be a hit in the UK. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Jennifer Zamparelli’s 1980s-set comedy series about a married Irish couple is set to be a hit in the UK. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Jennifer and Lau Zamparelli in New York
Bernard O'Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli, and Keith Walsh in Bridget & Eamon, RTE 2

Jennifer Zamparelli is one of RTE's biggest stars, having hit all the right notes on radio's Breakfast Republic as well as her TV work with Bridget and Eamon.

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But she says that she would give it all up in a second if her high-flying career ever interfered with her family life.

She has an 18-month-old daughter, Florence, with husband Lau and said they work out their child-minding duties on a week-to-week basis.

"We're actually on a break now for this week but it's tough going. I can't even go for coffee with my husband," she said.

Jennifer and Lau Zamparelli in New York
Jennifer and Lau Zamparelli in New York

"You know what you want to do and if it ever got to the point where it got too much or was putting a strain on family, I'd give it all up in a heartbeat. But I'm able to do most of it. Some days I'm out of the studio at 10am which is great.

"Florence is one and a half now and people are like, 'Are you going to have another one?'. Except for the lads in work. They won't let me have another one because it means taking time off!"

Jennifer Zamparelli's daughter Florence
Jennifer Zamparelli's daughter Florence

The in-demand presenter (35) has been nominated for an Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) for Bridget and Eamon, which was sold on to UK comedy station Gold, as well as two PPI radio awards for 2fm's Breakfast Republic.

Unfortunately for busy Jen, the two award ceremonies are on the same night on October 7, but she has decided to attend the IFTAs as it's "closer to my house" while the radio awards are in Kilkenny.

"We had a tough start to the radio show.

"We got slated - but the numbers are up now and we've been nominated so I'm very proud."

Bernard O'Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli, and Keith Walsh in Bridget & Eamon, RTE 2
Bernard O'Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli, and Keith Walsh in Bridget & Eamon, RTE 2

The Diary can reveal that her TV show with Bernard O'Shea will air in the UK at the end of the month. Jennifer admits there are a few nerves jangling as to how it will be received.

"There are some nerves. But if you put yourself on Twitter, you've got to be ready for that kind of feedback and people are entitled to that.

"You don't pay attention to it, either the good or bad comments. You just have to trust in your peers.

"It's nice to get that affirmation from another station and one that's across the water - we were very surprised and very happy that it got picked up."

Jen reckoned it hit a certain nostalgic note with viewers.

"We made an Irish programme for Irish people so we thought it might to be too Irish for them in the UK, with all the jokes about Johnny Logan.

"I think the whole eighties nostalgia got to them. It's a little bit silly, and there's also an aspect that's like, 'How the f**k did we even survive living in the eighties?'" she added.

Herald

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