Monday 19 March 2018

My cultural life: Anna Daly

Anna Daly
Anna Daly
Richard E Grant

Anna Daly is an award-winning presenter on TV3's national flagship breakfast show, Ireland AM. She is a UNICEF ambassador as well as being a brand ambassador for Seat cars and Mothercare. She hails from Dublin and is a graduate of international marketing from the Marketing Institute of Ireland. She is a regular on the 'most stylish' lists, and is a former winner of Celebrity Mum of the Year. She is married to Ben and is a proud mum to James (two) and Euan (one).

Book: 'The Help'

Kathryn Stockett's The Help is a book that will stay with me for a long time to come. The film was good but the book was an important read and a reminder of the racial issues that existed not that long ago. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962 it tells the story of how black maids raised white children, yet they weren't trusted with the family silver and were disrespected so disgracefully.

Designer: Sasha Sykes

Having a passion for interior design, I know we've an incredible array of design talent on offer here. A designer who really caught my eye recently was Sasha Sykes (Farm 21) with her 'bed of roses' table and her 'rose box cubes'. Each piece is bespoke, so you'll never see the same thing anywhere else, and with the New York Times describing her work as "products for people who live in the city but dream of the country" there's no shortage of interest in her works.

Artist: Rosemary Wiley

Following my cousin's wedding I searched for a sketch-style artist to illustrate the bride's beautiful shoes from the special day. It didn't prove easy but I finally found a willing artist through Etsy who ended up doing a lovely job. However, it didn't surprise me that artist Rosemary Wiley is doing something similar and seriously in demand. Rosemary illustrates the all-important dress and none of what she does is from a template. In fact every single detail of the wedding dress is recreated freely by hand using a fine-tipped blade and a pot of ink. The results are just stunning.

TV: 'Hotel Secrets'

Richard E Grant

Perhaps it's my love of design or perhaps it's that I've met and interviewed Richard E Grant, above, but one of my favourite TV shows is Grant's Hotel Secrets. It's the pure escapism, it's the sheer luxury, it's his theatrical presentation, it's the aspirational value. It's all of the above. What's not to love about it. He's a very cool guy, as I discovered when we met and, interestingly, his all-time favourite hotel in the world is here in Ireland, Ballyfin in Co Laois.

Song: 'Hallelujah'

We used the song Hallelujah (the Jeff Buckley version) at our wedding ceremony in Portugal in 2008 and it's a piece of music that just gets me every time. Written by Leonard Cohen, but not popularised until Jeff Buckley, right, covered it years later. Interestingly, Cohen was quoted during a radio interview at one point saying that he found the number of covers "ironic and amusing" given that when he first wrote it, his record company wouldn't put it out.

Anna Daly will be at the Festival of Women at the RDS, September 16/17/18. For tickets and details, see

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