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Tayto, wine and mum-in-law – Dawn's Irish delights

She spends six months of the years in the Hollywood hills – rubbing shoulders with A-List movie stars.

But writer Dawn O'Porter, who is married to actor Chris O'Dowd, says she loves nothing more than coming back to Ireland, hanging out with her in-laws and tucking into Tayto crisps.

"It's lovely being back in Ireland. I had a bag of Tayto crisps for my lunch – I love them. Salt and vinegar Tayto crisps are my all time favourite flavour of crisps. Definitely."

Dawn says she uses her trips to Ireland to relax and kick back with her in-laws.


"Whenever we come back we head down to Roscommon and stay in my mum-in-law Denise's house. We get on like a house on fire," she says. "The wine is open as soon as we walk through the door. And she does a good ham – there are always nice slices of ham but it's more about the wine, really.

"Chris has so many nieces and nephews running around. It always feels like a bit of a party in the house. We stay in an outhouse next to his mum's house, so it's lovely."

The 34-year-old is currently in Dublin promoting her debut novel, Paper Aeroplanes, and says being in Ireland without Chris feels a bit odd.

"It's really surreal being here without Chris. When I was walking through the airport I felt a little strange," she says. "But he's coming back next week to start filming Moone Boy, so couldn't really come over this weekend too.

"But I'm falling more and more in love with Dublin every time I come here," Dawn said. "Chris told me to check out The Hairy Lemon – he says it's great. So I might go there for a drink."

Dawn is over as part of the Dublin Writers Festival and says penning her first novel was a terrifying experience.

"I'm so used to working in TV with a team when you're doing a show and there are hundreds of people involved so you're less exposed," she said. "But writing a book you are completely on your own and it's really scary, I just feel like I've been waiting in the wings for the past six months. It was a little nerve-wracking," she said.

But, so far, the response to Dawn's book has been overwhelmingly positive, with Amy Huberman and X Factor host Caroline Flack singing its praises. "The response has been amazing. I couldn't have imagined it would have been any better. I'm chuffed." Dawn added.