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Who's that girl? It's Maura as she unveils daring new blonde look

RTE's Maura Derrane will be testing the theory about whether blondes really do have more fun this Christmas after dyeing her locks a lighter shade.

The Today presenter has been turning heads on the Cork-based show she co-presents with Daithi O Se after embarking on a radical new look.

Brunette Maura (40) decided to give her naturally curly hair a smoothing treatment as well as having some lowlights using the balayage treatment.

She also got a trendy new fringe cut into her hair for the first time.

And she revealed how it's been getting lots of attention from viewers of the show.

"It's so funny, everyone was getting in touch with the show asking about it like it was the maddest thing ever. And of course, Daithi was slagging me about my new hair but it was time for a change.

"I have this frizzy, crazy hair so I got the Bumble & Bumble smoothing treatment. That had brought it up a shade lighter anyway and then I had some lowlights in as well so it's kind of a caramel shade now, just to go for something different.

"I was lighter a few years ago but this is a very different look for me, I love it."

Speculation had hung over what was next for the presenter after RTE axed her Four Live show last March due to budget restrictions, along with The Daily Show fronted by Daithi and Claire Byrne.

But she has bounced back with her magazine-style show, which began airing last month and is hitting the right notes with viewers.

"It's going great, thank God. "The ratings are good and we've had a live audience in the studio over the past few days so we're trying lots of different things," she said.

"I'm glad it's all worked out and we're looking at doing some new things in the New Year like bringing in more health and beauty issues and doing live demos and things like that."

She has been commuting daily from the Waterford home she shares with her FG TD husband John Deasy, which takes her "a little over an hour".

And Maura's now looking forward to winding up her work schedule to enjoy two weeks off at Christmas, with the last show airing on Thursday, December 20.