Tuesday 20 November 2018

'He acts really cool but he's a pussy cat - he's terrified of me' - Lucy Kennedy to move in with Ivan Yates for Living With Lucy

She will also be shacking up with Gemma Collins, Nadine Coyle, Christy Dignam and Nathan Carter for the new series

Lucy Kennedy and Ivan Yates at the Virgin Media Television New Season Press briefing in the Aviva Stadium as the group unveiled its new programming for 2018. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Lucy Kennedy and Ivan Yates at the Virgin Media Television New Season Press briefing in the Aviva Stadium as the group unveiled its new programming for 2018. Pictures Brian McEvoy

Payu Tiwari

Irish TV and radio star Lucy Kennedy says fellow TV3 broadcaster Ivan Yates is a “pussy cat” and adds that he is “terrified” of her.

The 42 year old presenter will move in with the 58-year-old Newstalk radio and TV host for her upcoming new series of Living With Lucy, which kicks off on September 3.

Yates is one of ten celebrities whose homes she will invade over the course of ten weeks, with each hour-long episode airing every Monday at 9pm, a slot which took Lucy herself by surprise.

“It’s at 9pm!” she says, laughing. “Primetime! I’m thrilled. We have to tell everyone!”

Aside from Yates, the star studded guest list for Living With Lucy includes Aslan member Christy Dignam, former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, TOWIE star Gemma Collins, and “Nathan Carter, his granny and his thirteen bandmates".

Her favourite, she tells Independent.ie at the Virgin Media Television new season launch, was Christy, who she describes as "such a cool guy".

She also warmed to Gemma Collins, "because she's totally insane and really good craic".  She adds, "And I love Ivan Yates.  He acts really cool but he’s a pussy cat in real life. He’s terrified of me. And he made me sign his pillow, so I think he’s secretly in love with me.”

Aside from Living with Lucy, and her return to Ireland's Got Talent for the new series, Lucy made her radio comeback in January this year when she joined Radio Nova for a breakfast show with Colm Hayes, titled The Colm and Lucy Show.

The show saw them reunite eight years after they had filled the late Gerry Ryan's slot together on RTE's 2fm.  Lucy also co-hosted a weekend radio slot on 2fm with Baz Ashmawy from 7am-10am on Saturdays and Sundays for two years before the show was axed in 2012.

Lucy says she missed radio in her time off, and loves it because “it’s a different medium to telly- I can wear a tracksuit and pretend I’m wearing a bikini- nobody knows”.

“It’s so good to be back on radio,” she says. “I kind of missed it when I was off. And Colm Hayes is one of my good pals in real life. So it’s not really work as we know it - I kinda go in for a chat with my pal and get paid.”

The early morning starts for the show don’t bother her as much and she is used to them, being a mother of three.

“Early morning starts are fine - I haven’t slept in 9 years,” she says, adding that while her schedule is busy, she is technically freelance so is a mum most of the time.

“I have contracts and work, but my day starts early and ends early, so I’m still a mum 85% of the time,” she explains.

Given she has worked consistently since the noughties when she rose to prominence on Podge and Rodge, the Ex Files, and the early incarnation of Living With Lucy, she's a solid role model for young women interested in a career in broadcasting.

Her advice?  “Persist," she says, adding, “And if there is something you really want to do, stick with it. Remain true to yourself, don’t change for anybody.”

Her start in broadcasting came a little later in life.  She says, “I only started doing this at 28 years of age, so I always say this to Leaving Cert students, you’re not gonna know what you wanna do for the rest of your life at 18. You will know when you hit your late 20s. Just keep at it, don’t change for anybody. “

Lucy describes herself as “the girl next door meets Bridget Jones meets Poor Man’s Davina” who has “never changed,” and said that self acceptance is the key.

“I’m always going to wear Spanx, I’m never going be thin,” she says. “I’m always just going be me.

“I think that’s really important. Especially in this day and age, you’ve got to be yourself. Embrace it. Go on the girls, I say. All the way."

Read more: New 8pm News, drama Blood, new Pat Kenny show, new look for Ireland AM and Lucy living with Ivan Yates - it's Virgin Media Television's new season schedule

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