Ray Foley and his wife Kate are on the same wavelength
He's not thrilled with his weight gain, but 98FM's Ray Foley is gorgeous just as he is, reckons his wife, RTE's Kate Carolan
It all went downhill when we settled down, got a mortgage and had kids, and now we hate the sight of each other," laughs Ray Foley, as he describes his relationship with his beautiful wife, Kate Carolan. The 98FM DJ and presenter of The Algorithm on TV3 is only joking, of course, and is in the typically mischievous form that has made him so popular.
While Ray and Kate met while working at radio station, Spin 1038, in 2002, they didn't start going out for a few months, partly because Kate was seeing someone else and partly because, well, she wasn't that keen on the cheeky Ballina boy. Ray really fancied her and made his intentions clear early on, but gave up as she wasn't interested.
Then, on a night out a few months later, someone discreetly advised him that Kate's feelings had changed, and told him to make a move. He did, they kissed, and six weeks later they went on holidays together. This went against the advice of all of their pals, who feared they would kill the relationship before it even began, but they had a great time. They moved in together to an apartment in town not too long after that.
"I found Ray very confident at first, and wasn't overly impressed by him," Kate admits. "It took a while, but then I realised that he was great fun, as well as being attractive and generous. We had a great time, with lots of travelling and enjoying each other's company. We've been together for 12 years now, and there is no secret formula, but we're great friends and have a good laugh together, even when we're tired and grumpy at the end of the day."
Ray and Kate were officially married in the register office in Dublin in 2007, and then had a humanist wedding ceremony in Brooklodge in Wicklow a few days later. Ray says that while Kate is very striking and attractive, what he likes about her is that she's always lovely to people.
"I'm not a patient person and am a bit judgmental, but Kate is great with everyone," he says. "You take things for granted when you are married, but I always say that I'm lucky enough to be still married to my girlfriend."
The partying got slightly curtailed when the babies came along, and Ray and Kate are now the delighted parents of Matthew, 2, and Andrew, seven months. The only slight problem has been the issue of shedding the baby weight - Ray's that is, not Kate's!
"The minute Kate got pregnant, I started eating and drinking for two," groans Ray, who came to prominence on TV as the popular host of TV3's dating show, Take Me Out. "It was sort of a sympathy thing. I got up to 17 stone when I was younger, and then got it down to 12 stone, but by Christmas, I was up to that weight again. I'm quite happy with my weight, but everyone else won't shut up about it. If I had arrived to TV overweight, no one would have asked any questions, but because I got fat after Take Me Out, there are people every week tweeting me about putting on weight now. It doesn't particularly bother me. because let's face it, I did get fat, but Kate is back to her pre-baby weight so I have no excuse. She runs three or four times a week, and always goes to the gym and is aware of what she eats."
At six foot two, Ray carries the extra weight well, but has lost nine pounds since the beginning of the year, bringing him down to 16 stone five. He did a couple of fad diets with juices and shakes, but decided in January that he needed to change his lifestyle. He walks for an hour every day, and tries to do 10,000 steps per day, and finds that it's slowly having an impact. Exercising the couple's beloved energetic dog Izzy also help, as of course, does running after the two babies.
"Ray looks great, as he's so tall that he can get away with the weight gain," says Kate. "He is doing really well on his new regime, but I fancy him either way anyway. Ray is happy in himself, and he just wants to be healthier, so I encourage him to make small steps that will have a big effect in the end."
Speaking of babies, Ray says that he was a reluctant father prior to having Matthew, and the whole process took a bit of negotiation, but now that the boys are here, he's a doting dad. They moved to Dun Laoghaire and are close to Kate's parents, Pat and Helen, which is a great help - she grew up in Glenageary and has an older brother, Patrick. Ray's own parents Ray and Cathy are in Ballina, but they visit often, and he has a younger brother, Morgan.
"Ray is a brilliant dad," says Kate. "He's great at rough and tumble and the boys love that. It's really lovely for me to see Ray with them. I'm good at the routine things, but Ray is much better with the fun stuff."
Kate, 37, did arts at UCD and now works in news at RTE. She is currently on maternity leave, but prior to that, she was reading the news on Morning Ireland.
Last year, the award-winning Ray left his midday slot at Today FM to present the breakfast show on 98FM, alongside his friend and sidekick, JP Gilbourne. It was a risky move, but the sharp, witty banter between the presenters and their general irreverence and straight-talking edginess went down a storm with listeners. They are building their audience and loving the new challenge, and while it means an early start, Ray is slowly coming to terms with that!
He's also loving hosting TV3's The Algorithm, where groups of families/friends try to climb the prize money ladder by predicting one of their own team member's answers against The Algorithm computer, with its sophisticated statistical system. It has been very well-received and returns to our screens in May. "Ray is evolving all the time," says Kate. "The new radio and TV shows were a challenge for him, but he rose to it effortlessly, in my opinion. He works so hard, and never switches off. I see him at home researching items until he goes to sleep, and that hard work and dedication comes across on air."
The Ray Foley Show, 98FM, weekdays, 6-10am.