Tuesday 16 January 2018

Nationwide's Mary Kennedy says she's 'the happiest she's ever been'

Mark Kennedy pictured on Nationwide in Limerick City. (Photo/RTE)
Mark Kennedy pictured on Nationwide in Limerick City. (Photo/RTE)
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

BROADCASTER Mary Kennedy has said she is the happiest she’s ever been in her RTE career, now that her children have flown the nest.

The television host, who has been at the helm of long-running programme ‘Nationwide’ for nine years, told the Irish Independent that she is no longer rushing to get back to Dublin in the evenings after filming and is “absolutely loving” the series.

“I’m at a stage now in life that my children are grown up so I’m not watching the clock anymore,” mother-of-four Kennedy told the Irish Independent.

“There used to be a stage where I would be doing that and thinking, ‘will I be home by five o’clock so I can pick them up from school or cook the dinner’ and so on. Now I don’t have to think about any of that which is lovely,” she said.

“I get into the car with a sense of anticipation everyday. It is dark when I leave in the mornings and then arrive somewhere new, meet new people and get a fantastic welcome.”

The RTE weeknight programme has been on the air 20 years and Kennedy said they have received dozens of birthday cards to mark the occasion.

Ladies who lunch: RTE's Mary Kennedy, Dr Rhona Mahony and To Russia With Love founder Debbie Deegan at the launch of the 'Inspiring Women' lunch
Ladies who lunch: RTE's Mary Kennedy, Dr Rhona Mahony and To Russia With Love founder Debbie Deegan at the launch of the 'Inspiring Women' lunch

“‘Nationwide’ had very humble beginnings, it was just Michael Ryan in a studio and he used to do the links down in Waterford, then  take the tape, get into his car and drive to Dublin and hand it in. We’ve come a long way.”

The 56-year-old said that alongside her day job at RTE, she’s hoping to sit down and put together another book on sayings and quotes that mean something to her.

“I have been gathering bits and pieces for another one; whenever I see nice quotes or articles I keep them and I sorted through them all last week so I’ve a nice collection already,” she said.

“I’ll probably bring another one out, as I find it a very enjoyable process, but not yet. The first book I released was when my mother died, the second was when I found all of her quotations and the third one, out in 2011, was mainly about entering middle and the differences in life at that stage.

“So we’ll see what the next chapter will be.”

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