PRESENTER Lorraine Keane has revealed how she saw friends vanish when she quit her career in television.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Independent, the former Xpose presenter, who has returned to TV3 for the first time in four years, spoke candidly about the hurt she felt when she was frozen out from some quarters.
She said: "A few people let me down. Not in TV3, but certainly in the business. Where I thought I had a very close friendship with some people and then -- when I wasn't on the TV anymore -- suddenly there was no sign of them and it was very hurtful.
"I had made this completely different lifestyle for my family and I, and it was great over the summer, and then I remember coming back in the autumn when it came to getting back to do a little bit of work and some people weren't interested in being my friend, and that was very disappointing. But I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Once you get over that actu-ally you are better off knowing. And I decided I wasn't going to waste time on them from here on out."
Key to her comeback is that her daughters Emilia, 10, and seven-year-old Romy are now at school until late afternoon, allowing their mum to resume her career.
Speaking about her break away from work, she said there is a constant struggle for women to feel they have done enough for their children. "I have done all three -- working full-time, working part-time and a full-time mother and no matter how much you do you still go to bed feeling guilty.
"I often lie awake at night thinking, 'Have I done enough for them?' Women are very very hard on themselves, they never think they are doing enough and there is always a big guilt there. The juggle is a struggle and I don't think we value or appreciate ourselves enough. I think we should be a lot kinder to ourselves for what we manage and give ourselves a pat on the back sometimes."
On hanging up her microphone, she explained how some cutbacks had to happen if she wanted to spend more time with her young family.
"We have definitely had to make some sarcrifices over the past few years, it's the nature of freelance work. There is always a mild panic in August but then things work themselves out. But there were so many things -- holidays, weekends, all of that material stuff, but I believe happiness is the new rich."
But the mother of two spoke of her joy at being back among her colleagues at Bally-mount as she returned as a host on Late Lunch Live.
Saving special mention for someone who has more of a reputation for taking people to task than giving a friendly word of advice, she said: "I would regularly meet Vincent [Browne] for breakfast or lunch because he lives near me. Even when I was away from TV3.
"He is a really clever man, with a wealth of experience and he is a mentor to me, just like a dad, he is very protective."
After nailing her first live broadcast, the former Xpose presenter showed no fear of working in TV3's new high-definition studios.
"I look after myself more than ever now. I know it's more difficult to get older for women in my business than it is for men. Men can grow wrinkles, get fat, at they're liked just as much, whereas women are more scrutinised. It's a pity but it's a fact of life, like it or lump it. Looking well is about making the best of yourself."
Keane has been the poster girl for Garnier as well as the face of [hairdresser] Dylan Bradshaw and shared some of the secrets to looking young and healthy under the harsh glare of camera lights.
"I am a foodie, but I don't eat a big pile of food. I eat small portions all day long and if I feel like a slice of chocolate cake for lunch then I will have it but then I won't have the sandwich. It's all about trading off.
"I also don't exercise regularly but I take the stairs instead of the lift and walk or bike it to do my errands -- it's exercise with a purpose so I can fit it into my day.
"My third habit is a good dermatologist. I think every woman should have a good dermatologist from the age of 35 onwards and go once or twice a year for a proper facial or IPC laser to reduce redness and broken veins."