Wednesday 18 January 2017

Louise Johnston: The ‘Fade Street’ star who gets the joke

Published 23/01/2011 | 05:00

Unless you've been in an entertainment media blackout, you probably know about her already. As a central character in the reality-drama series Fade Street, Louise has gone from obscurity to being a national talking point virtually overnight. Despite somewhat rocky beginnings, the show has become a national hit, generating water-cooler chat across the land.

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She's taking life as a celebutante in her stride. It's the programme everybody either loves or loves to hate, but Louise isn't sensitive about being the subject of comic entertainment. "The people who are being negative and sarcastic are my favourite people," she says. "I'm very good at being able to laugh at myself. I'm the kind of person, if I fall over, I'll laugh at myself." When she's watching the show herself, she relates as much to the audience as she does to the way she's represented. "The same time that you cringed, I cringed. When you laughed at what I said, I laughed too," she says. "It's entertainment, and so long as people are being entertained that's all that matters."

After famously fluffing her job interview, on camera, at Stellar magazine, she picked up a few career pointers for the future. "It's really good to see the mistakes that you've made. Not a lot of people get that," she says. She's always game for a challenge, whether in public or otherwise. "I'm addicted to the feeling of being thrown in at the deep end and having to clamber your way back up," she says. "It's the best way to learn things in life."

An archetypal southside girl, she had jobs as a hostess in Krystle and as a promotions girl before RTE came calling. Twenty-three-year-old Louise, who lives at home with her mother and sister, and is studying economics at UCD, had no designs on a media career until the opportunity for one fell in her lap. "So what if people don't like you?" she says of taking the leap. "That's not the end of the world. The experience I got out of it was what was important for me. It was the connections I made along the way, it was everything I would learn and the relationships that I would form."

Despite catching the eye of more than one likely lad on the programme, she's currently single. Louise is keeping her options open, despite being the first of the characters to share an on-camera smooch with a hot date on the show. She admits she's been too embarrassed to watch the kiss sequence, but is still friends with Harry, whom she knew in her pre-Fade Street life.

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'Fade Street' continues on RTE Two, Mondays at 10.50pm

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