RTE personality Aonghus McAnally is one of Ireland's best-known faces and voices in entertainment. A son of multi-BAFTA winning actor Ray McAnally (The Mission, My Left Foot) and actress Ronnie Masterson (Angela's Ashes), he started off in show business in the early 1970s with trad rock group Mushroom. He has been a regular face and voice on both television and radio, hosting such well-known shows as Anything Goes and The Lyrics Board, and for the last four years has been the series producer on Joe Duffy's Liveline. An Evening of Songs, Stories and Laughter with Aonghus McAnally, a musical journey through the songs that have shaped his life and 40-year career, begins touring on January 18 in the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire. aonghusmcanally.com
Film: Notting Hill
I am a romantic when it comes to movies. Every time I see Notting Hill it gets me. I think it is a mixture of the music, the humour and the acting of the often underestimated Hugh Grant, who combines comedy and pathos perfectly. The ensemble playing is top class and his sequence of misfortunate dates, trying to find a substitute for Julia Roberts (above), is one of the funniest things I have seen on screen.
Music: Gilbert O'Sullivan
Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again, Naturally has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of a moment in my life when my dad taught me how to interpret a song lyric. I had asked his advice on how best to improve my delivery. He asked me to hand him a random songbook, and Gilbert's was the one to hand. As he simply started reading the lyrics, it came to life and made me cry. I realised just how important telling the story is. I am singing it in the new show and in my mind I can see him there with the book in his hand.
Design: Eiffel Tower
I love the Eiffel Tower in Paris as it is such an iconic image. Visually it immediately places you slap bang in the middle of culture, cosmopolitan diversity, art and the wonderful aroma of French cafes. Its design feels timeless to me, and I am in awe of Gustave Eiffel and his vision from the 1880s. For our 30th wedding anniversary, we had a most wonderful meal in the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor. It was a night to remember as we looked out over the spectacular Parisian skyline.
Author: Liz Nugent
I am a big fan of crime drama on TV. I absolutely love reading Liz Nugent's work. Crime writers often deliver plot driven narrative only, whereas her characters are fully rounded flesh and blood people. I feel her ability to create page-turners is due to the intrigue of the plot but also the manner in which we get to know and understand more and more about the characters as we get further and further involved.
TV: The A Word
Probably my favourite show of the last few years has been The A Word which dealt with the reality of having a child with autism. It dealt with the day-to-day problems of a family as they each tried to cope in different ways. The star of the show, Max Vento, as seven-year-old Joe Hughes (above) would melt your heart.
Sunday Indo Living