Tuesday 17 October 2017

I'll never return to daytime TV - vows an exhausted Blathnaid

Chat Queen: Blathnaid hated the responsibility of daytime television
Chat Queen: Blathnaid hated the responsibility of daytime television

Eimear Rabbitte

FORMER RTE chat show queen Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh has vowed never to return to afternoon TV because she "hated the responsibility".

Blathnaid has revealed that she could leave RTE in the morning, even though her bank balance wouldn't allow it.

"I hated the responsibility I felt on daytime TV; the lack of respect," she said.

"You're talking about dead babies and dying children with somebody and then they leave you.

"They walk out of the studio and you're sitting there, attached to a wire.

"I can't do that anymore."

The 42-year-old co-presented The Afternoon Show from its first season in 2003 but left in 2009, citing health problems as the reason for her departure.

Controversy

She also left amid a storm of controversy that she had clashed with her co-host Sheana Keane.

The Afternoon Show was cancelled in 2010 and Blathnaid went back to daytime TV last year when she co-presented the Friday slot of RTE's new Today show with businesswoman Norah Casey.

However, they were not asked back for a second season.

Blathnaid also opened up about her year absence from RTE, which she described as a "troubled" time.

"When I was out of RTE for the year, I was ill and troubled," she said. "My brain was troubled. That was my moment of truth. I had buried my dad.

"I didn't get better after that operation on my colon, and finally I decided to walk away from one of the things on my list, probably the biggest one."

And the mum-of-four said that the decision to quit the Afternoon Show brought her instant relief.

"When I said 'I'm not doing the Afternoon Show anymore, I can't handle it,' when I took that off my list of woes, that night, I slept," she said.

After starting her career with RTE at the youthful age of 18, Blathnaid has gone on to become an institution with the broadcaster.

But she is now in a place in her life where leaving the Montrose station no longer scares her.

"I could easily walk out of RTE in the morning," she said.

"I've never felt that before.

"I could walk out and believe that I could do something else.

"Financially, I can't afford to, and yet, for myself, I could do it," she added.

hnews@herald.ie

Herald

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