How TV's Jennifer Maguire made a mug out of me

Kirsty Blake Knox

I was recently caught out on Jennifer Maguire's new hidden camera show The Fear. I know -- how on earth did this happen?

In my defence, I was very hung-over. And wearing a pair of very large, very dark sunglasses. I'm just stating the facts.

Plus, I will talk to anyone. I enjoy random chats. At times, I prefer talking to complete strangers than my close friends. Conversations with strangers are exciting -- who knows what will happen?

On top of this, crazy people are drawn to me. So perhaps I was an ideal candidate for The Fear.

The set-up was simple. Around Merrion Square, Jennifer and her team had hung hotel-style art. Most of the pieces were unremarkable -- landscapes and sketches of kittens. But Jennifer's stall was a little more arresting, with several large canvases displaying a very intimate part of the male anatomy. I stopped dead. Was this art?


I was thinking of taking a photo when Jennifer swooped, asking if I liked what I saw. I was so caught off-guard that I said I thought she had a real eye for colour.

Wearing black-rimmed glasses and one of the worst wigs I've ever seen, the 32-year-old talked about the inspiration behind each work. She also said one of the paintings was of U2 guitarist The Edge.

While she was talking, I thought she looked vaguely familiar, but I was too distracted by the 'art' to place her. Jennifer offered to sell me a piece, a bargain at just ¤600. I turned to walk away, but found myself face to face with a camera crew. Before I knew what I was doing, I signed a release form.

Afterwards, I rang my mother and told her what had happened: "So you're going to be on TV talking about mickeys and looking like an eejit. It could have been worse."

Really? I've been worrying about the clip for the past few weeks -- replaying it in my head and trying to remember exactly what I said. I guess you could say I'm suffering from a serious bout of the fear.

The show starts this Monday at 9:30 on RTE Two.