Gift of the GAB
THE ONLY FEMALE IRISH VOICE ON NATIONAL UK RADIO IS WEXFORD WOMAN MAGGIE DOYLE, WRITES MARIA PEPPER
THE ONLY Irish female on national radio in the U.K. is a Wexford woman.
Maggie Doyle from Bayview Drive wakes up more than one million Londoners with her Wexford accent as a presenter with the Christian O'connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio.
The Irish World newspaper in London put her on their front cover last week.
In fact, the front page achievement was a New Year challenge set by her boss on the early morning breakfast programme.
Maggie has been living and working in London for the past six years and has been on the team at Absolute for two.
A former pupil of the Mercy primary in John's Road and the Presentation secondary school, she studied Psychology at Cardiff University after completing her Leaving Cert.
Then she went up to London to do a post graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Westminister in Harrow.
'It was tough to get started in radio but I persevered and my Irish accent has helped me on the airwaves over here,' said Maggie, a daughter of Jack and Mary Doyle.
She worked in various radio stations in London after graduating – reading travel news on local BBC radio stations; reporting from a Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier on the Thames River and interviewing Justin Timberlake in his hotel suite.
She joined the Christian O'connell Breakfast Show in 2009 as the Travel Girl.
'I love it on the show. We have done lots of crazy things. I've been a bridesmaid for a listener at her wedding in London Zoo. I came second in a Mobility Scooter Grand Prix outside Buckingham Palace. I've reported live from music festivals and had my travel news taken over by Liam Gallagher.'
Maggie, the youngest of three girls, had a cosy upbringing in Wexford, popping into her grandparents in nearby Monument Place after school in the Mercy.
Her grandfather Harry Doyle was at one time Assistant Town Clerk.
As a teenager, she attended the Carmel Corish Wallace School of Speech and Drama where she indulged her performing instinct.
She also did a week's work experience in the old People newspaper office on the Main Street when she was 16.
Maggie considers it an honour to be the only Irish woman on the national UK airwaves and is delighted to be involved in such a successful and fun show.
Christian O'connell won the Best Commercial Breakfast Show last year and captured a bronze at the Sony Awards.
The show's 1.3 million plus listeners often hear Maggie saying lovely things about her home town of Wexford.
'I am a good ambassador. I talk a lot about the beaches and beautiful scenery in the south east,' she said.
She comes back to Wexford every few months and spent two weeks here with her family over Christmas.
'It was bliss to be looked after by mammy with lots of lovely food and plenty of tea drinking.'
She went to the Stores, headed out to the Raven for a walk and did some sales shopping on the Main Street.
'I'm so impressed by how Wexford has developed over the past few years,' said Maggie.
' The restaurants and pubs are all so good. When I brought my boyfriend over from London, it was a particularly sunny weekend and he thought pedestrianised Monck Street was amazing on a Saturday evening.'
' The quay is beautiful. Like a lot of people I miss the woodenworks but a walk along the water is so pretty in winter or summer.'
She missed her family and friends and loves getting home.
'If I don't go back every two months or so, I start getting the itch,' she said.