Thursday 19 January 2017

'Do you want to know the secret? There is none!' - Kathleen Watkins on 50 years of marriage to Gay Byrne

Published 09/11/2016 | 13:19

Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins for VIP Magazine. Picture: Lili Forberg/VIP Magazine
Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins for VIP Magazine. Picture: Lili Forberg/VIP Magazine
Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne at the launch of her new children's book, Pigín of Howth, at The National Gallery of Ireland. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins
Ryan Tubridy with Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins at the launch of her new children's book, Pigín of Howth, at The National Gallery of Ireland. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Gay Byrne and his wife Kathleen arrive at the Opening of Big Maggie in the Gaiety, which runs until the 12th of March. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins for VIP Magazine. Picture: Lili Forberg/VIP Magazine
Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins at the opening night of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Picture: Brian McEvoy
November issue of VIP Magazine
Gay Byrne with Kathleen Watkins, who wrote children’s book ‘Pigín of Howth’ Photo: Colin O’Riordan

Ireland's golden couple have opened up about what makes their 52-year union so strong.

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Legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins, a newly published author, have taken part in a their first ever photoshoot for the November issue of VIP Magazine and discuss the secrets of success to a long-lasting marriage.

Kathleen said there's a "freedom" in separating their union from their independent lives.

"Do you want to know the secret? There is none," she told the mag.

Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins for VIP Magazine. Picture: Lili Forberg/VIP Magazine
Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins for VIP Magazine. Picture: Lili Forberg/VIP Magazine

"You just get on with living, and you keep busy. Also, we have always done things singly and together. I think there’s a freedom in that.

While Gay previously said the secret of a happy marriage is: “You do what you’re told, when you’re told, how you’re told", Kathleen said the house has always been "my domain".

"If we were entertaining people, he’d come home from RTÉ and everything would be done. The wine would be uncorked even. And it’s still a bit like that, but he’s now a bit better at filling and emptying the dishwasher," she added.

"Suzy bought him a little brush and pan recently and he’s good at scooping up stuff around the kitchen. And, he can boil an egg. And, he can use a microwave.

Gay Byrne & Kathleen Watkins at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse. Picture: Anthony Woods
Gay Byrne & Kathleen Watkins at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse. Picture: Anthony Woods

"He never had to do anything. He was never involved. He was gone at 7.15am and back at 7.15pm and we had to be highly organised. There’s a right and wrong way for everybody. I hope I did it the right way."

And while the couple are preparing for the festive season with their two children, Kathleen, who recently launched her debut children's book the Pigin of Howth, said she's hoping for "less excitement" this year.

"Last year my son-in-law got a bad bug, and that was on Christmas Day. And then Gay had his heart attack two days later, so we’re hoping this Christmas we’ll have a little less excitement of that kind! Christmas is just family and flop time, really," she added.

"Get into your rags, go for walks, and eat."

November issue of VIP Magazine
November issue of VIP Magazine

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