Entertainment Television

Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Ice Queen is a nice way of saying b*tch' - Grainne Seoige opens up on Living with Lucy

TV star Grainne Seoige says the characterisation of her as an ‘ice queen’ left her feeling wounded and was an example of the way women in the media can easily be vilified. Photo: Gerry Mooney
TV star Grainne Seoige says the characterisation of her as an ‘ice queen’ left her feeling wounded and was an example of the way women in the media can easily be vilified. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

TV star Grainne Seoige has hit back at her ''ice queen'' image, saying: "It's so easy to vilify women in the media."

The former news anchor said the characterisation was hurtful and said that it is simply a nice way of describing a woman as a "b*tch".

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Speaking to Lucy Kennedy for her new series of Living with Lucy, the Galway star said she felt powerless.

"I have an idea where it came from. It was an article that was written about 10 years ago but it seemed to gain traction," she said.

"I got to the stage where I started drawing a cloak around myself and protecting myself. At the time, it really hurt because I didn't recognise myself reading it at all.

"Ice queen is a way of saying b**ch, it's a nicer way of saying it, so that wounded me terribly at the time."

She said her role as news anchor could have contributed to the misogynistic tag, adding that it is easy to put women in the media in a box.

"I think it's an interesting thing about how it is so easy to vilify women in the media and to tag and to pigeon-hole them. It gets to the stage where you have to start saying to yourself, 'I don't care what they say, I know who I am, I have love in my life, I'm happy, that's what is important'.

"Whoever that person was who wrote that, I don't know what I would say to that person because I wasn't given the right of reply. It just becomes a thing."

She mused with Lucy that it may have led her to keep the spotlight away from her private life, leading her to create "a vacuum".

"That is not the intention but you create a vacuum. I made a family decision to keep my family private for a very, very long time, my son wanted anonymity and privacy growing up and I gave it to him."

But "that created tension", she adds.

On her decision to move to South Africa, she said it was "really lovely" to have anonymity after decades as a household name in Ireland.

In the show, she invited the Dublin presenter into the poolside home she shares with her entrepreneur fiance Leon Jordaan in Johannesburg.

The 45-year-old, who now runs a diamond business with her partner, moved across the world to be with him.

"It was a no-brainer. I love this man, I want to be with him. [I said] Let's do it," she said.

"We knew how we felt very early doors. When you meet someone that slight bit later you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You realise what you have and you're not going to mess it up and play games."

The TV star, who began her broadcasting career in 1996 with the launch of TG4 before moving on to TV3, Sky and finally RTE, says she now calls South Africa home.

"My man is here, my dogs are here, my bed is here. I think that's your home."

Meanwhile, the former rugby coach also spoke to Lucy about the pair's romantic first meeting.

"We made eye contact and we looked into each other's eyes and she was busted."

And he revealed Grainne's forward nature: "At some stage she said, 'are you ever going to kiss me?' The rest is history."

'Living with Lucy', Virgin Media One, Monday, 9pm.

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