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'My strop on Style Wars was from the heart -- but maybe I overreacted'

ACCLAIMED fashion designer Peter O'Brien insists that his diva strop on TV3's Style Wars this week was not set up for the cameras.

O'Brien, who is one of Ireland's leading couture designers, hit the headlines after Tuesday night's episode, which saw him quit his role as a judge on the fashion series, only to change his mind less than 24 hours later.

Viewers tuning in saw the popular fashion guru leave the panel in anger after fellow judges model Caprice and Aurora Chairman Ian Galvin unanimously voted for design hopeful Roisin Cagney to leave.

However, Peter insists the incident was blown out of proportion and says that in reality the matter was merely a "storm in a teacup".

"It really has been blown up into something rather ludicrous," he told the Herald.

"We were sitting in a small, hot room watching a girl in tears because she was told to go home. Unless you really have no empathy of any kind, you can't help but feel for her.

"I was very uncomfortable and I decided to leave. The notion that some of those emotions could have been manipulated is ridiculous. It was from the heart and genuine.

"I think maybe I overreacted at that very moment in time. When there's a camera crew there and you're thinking this is only for the benefit of ratings you begin thinking rashly.

"Then I came home and thought about it and I thought nobody's died, nobody's been told they have terminal cancer, the kids will all laugh about this.

He added: "I also hate to come into something and not finish it. I like the idea of working with young Irish people who are trying to get into the business and I wanted to continue with that."

Peter admits, however, that he will not be making a return to television in the near future.

The talented designer says that no show, including an Irish version of America's Next Top Model which he had been mooted for, would persuade him to take part in another reality show.

According to Peter: "Television really is not my natural habitat. I have absolutely no desire to be famous or to even be in front of the cameras. One television show is more than enough. I definitely won't be doing any more reality TV, Ireland's Next Top Model or anything else."