Friday 23 March 2018

It was a tough time, says Grainne as she finally opens up about split

The stunning presenter is too busy for love as she concentrates on her career and new ITV gig, writes Niamh Horan

TV star Grainne Seoige has opened up for the first time since her marriage split, saying she is too busy for love.

As the clock counts down to the launch of the GMTV replacement show, Daybreak, tomorrow morning, the stunning Galwegian presenter has laughed off suggestions that she is ready to start again in romance, instead asserting "my cup runneth over".

Speaking at the show's launch in London's ITV studios, Seoige explained how her priority in life now was to concentrate on her career.

"I'm working here and I'm working at home and that's it. I just want to concentrate on my job," she said.

"I think I have my plate more than full. My cup runneth over with jobs at the moment. I've got three live shows in September on RTE as well so really there isn't any room for anything else."

Commenting on her split she said: "I had a really tough time." But she said she is relieved to be making a fresh start. "It was a tough time, it was. But I'm certainly very happy to be here today.

"It's lovely to walk into a place and know that you're starting again with everyone else. There's a great start-of-term feeling to it all, I'm really enjoying it."

The 38-year-old presenter, who proved to be a massive hit with viewers when she filled in for Kate Garraway, will begin her stint as features editor tomorrow morning in a show headed by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley who have been reunited for ITV1's new-look show.

Seoige was unveiled last week amidst a team of special correspondents tasked with setting the day's agenda in a mix of news, entertainment, major exclusive interviews, as well as health, sport, human interest and lifestyle features.

Looking relaxed and laughing with fellow presenters on the star team, the slimmed-down presenter also spoke out in answer to her critics -- saying there is only one person in her life who's opinion she really cares about.

"In this industry there are challenges, it's not a nine-to-five job and my son was two years old when I read my first bulletin. He is soon to be 17. He's well able, between my sister and everyone else in our larger family who works in the media; he is very well-equipped at this stage.

"There's nobody like your son to put you in your place. Between him and my mother, I'm well covered," she laughed.

She also touched upon TV3 boss Ben Frow's assertion that she is "too beautiful for breakfast television" and "may make women feel fat and frumpy in their dressing gowns", saying: "I think if Ben is saying that about me, then all you have to do is look around at all the other women working on this programme. It's a good-looking team -- it's television," she deadpanned.

The seasoned presenter went on to dismiss recent hype about her weight loss since her marriage split: "I have been exactly the same weight since before The All-Ireland Talent Show last year. I have been working out with Paul Byrne since last year. I'll be working really hard so it's important to eat healthily. And being on breakfast television I'm not likely to be falling out of China Whites [London's celebrity nightclub] any time soon."

Seoige says she is now on the lookout for a new home in London. She will commute back and forth from London on Mondays and Fridays, admitting that "the nerves will be there on the double on my first morning".

Meanwhile, Lorraine Kelly, seasoned breakfast television star and colleague of Seoige, has warned the star of the guilt she'll feel as she leaves her son behind in Ireland to build on her career.

"Grainne is fantastic and so beautiful. As a working mom she'll have to be really organised. And inevitably as a working mother you're going to feel guilty, it comes with the territory. Her boy is older than my daughter so I think that helps a lot. He'll be over here in London and she'll fly back to Ireland every week too so it is do-able. But all working mothers feel guilty. I just think it's in your DNA. You can't help it."

Seoige, who worked her way up through the ranks of TV3, RTE, Sky News and now ITV, split from her husband of eight years Stephen Cullinane at the beginning of the summer.

At the time of the announcement, Seoige's spokesman, Noel Kelly, said there was "nothing else" to the marriage split and insisted that she and Stephen would remain on good terms.

"There's nobody else involved and they are going to stay friends," he explained.

Members of Seoige's inner circle confirmed they were aware the couple had been going through problems for at least six months.

A close pal said she was "not surprised" about news of the split -- but was not aware Seoige was preparing to release a shock statement on the issue. She also insisted there was no third party involved in the separation.

"It just ran its course and there was nothing else to it," she said. "There were no high dramas or any big arguments or anyone suddenly moving out of the house. It was all very dignified and amicable.

"That's the way they want things to stay as they are still very good friends. There was absolutely no one else involved in this."

Sunday Independent

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