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Maura battles sickness and snow to see TV pal Grainne

RTE star Maura Derrane is hoping to fit in a long overdue catch-up with her jet-setting pal Grainne Seoige next week when she travels west to visit her family on the Aran Islands.

The glamorous Four Live host has been firm friends with Grainne since their TV3 days, but the pair have had little time to meet up in recent months.

When she's not reporting from far-flung destinations ITV's Daybreak, Grainne divides her time between London, during the week, and Dublin at weekends.

Maura, meanwhile, is in the capital five days a week to host her RTE show, before returning to her home in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at weekends in order to see her hubby, Fine Gael TD John Deasy.

"I got a call from her (Grainne) the other day, on Christmas Day actually, and I haven't had a minute to get back to her yet," Maura explained. "I was literally in bed all day sick.

"I know she was down in the west for Christmas, so I'll try and arrange to see her there maybe. I was meant to get down home to Inis Mor, where I'm from, but with the weather it wasn't possible."

Maura (40) made her return to the limelight yesterday when she stepped out to judge the Irish Tatler and Carton House Best Dressed Ladies contest at Leopardstown, after being forced off air last week due to a winter bug.

Dressed in a stylish outfit plucked straight from her wardrobe, the chatty star and fellow judge Jessie Collins, Editor of Irish Tatler, eventually gave 23-year-old Chloe Culleton from New Ross the title of Best Dressed on the day.

The glamorous trainee solicitor, who was wearing a vintage hat and Marc Jacobs coat purchased on Ebay, along with shoes from Penneys, walked away with a shoot with Tatler magazine, as well as a luxury weekend at Carton House.

According to Maura: "It was a tough decision, there was so much style. It was like a winter wonderland with all the fur and hats.

"I'm just so glad I could make it, because I didn't know if I would."