Sunday 25 February 2018

'People have no idea of the personal toll on DWTS' - Des Cahill

Des Cahill and dance partner Karen Byrne rehearsing on the set of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Des Cahill and dance partner Karen Byrne rehearsing on the set of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Des Cahill with dance partner Karen Byrne on RTÉ’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTÉ sports broadcaster Des Cahill waltzed his way into the affections of the nation on 'Dancing with the Stars' before being given his marching orders.

But while 'Dancing Dessie' said he had a "fantastic" time on the big-budget show, he had a word of warning for any celebrity considering taking part in season two.

"The amount of time involved in the show is ridiculous. Two of the female contestants actually moved out of their homes for a while because they couldn't combine work with family life. People have no idea of the personal toll," he said.

"My wife Caroline suffered. I wasn't home, she hasn't seen me at all. So I'd like to thank her for all her support."

Des Cahill & Karen Byrne during week nine of RTE’s Dancing With The Stars.
Photo: kobpix
Des Cahill & Karen Byrne during week nine of RTE’s Dancing With The Stars. Photo: kobpix

Contestants started work on the show last January, which often meant double-shifts for busy Des.

He said that some days, he would have a 4.40am wake-up call to be in RTÉ for 'Morning Ireland', and would then go straight to rehearsals with dance partner Karen Byrne.

Weekends were even busier for him as he had to present RTÉ radio's flagship programme 'Saturday Sport' before the final run-through for Sunday night's 'Dancing with the Stars'.

He also sustained a knee injury which he said would need "long-term treatment".

Des Cahill with dance partner Karen Byrne on RTÉ’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Des Cahill with dance partner Karen Byrne on RTÉ’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Picture: Kyran O'Brien

But despite all that, Des would do it all again in a heart-beat.

"It was fantastic. In the scheme of my life, it's not the most important thing that's happened in any way, but it was very, very special," he said.

"Everything about this was so positive. I have some lovely memories and some lovely photographs."

His favourite week was performing the 'Marino Waltz' but he reckons it was his Austin Powers-inspired dance that struck a chord with the public.

"I'll probably be remembered for the Dessie Swim. I look so geeky in it and it's the photo that's followed me everywhere," he said.

He also said it was a good week for him to go out. His beloved GAA club Cuala is in the All-Ireland Club Hurling Final on Friday when they take on Ballyhea and he's also doing the voice-over for RTÉ's coverage of the St Patrick's Day parade in the morning.

"I was worried I couldn't have a drink at the match - so I can give it socks now!" he said.

Irish Independent

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