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The loves of my life: Zara King on the power of the humble black dress and the thrill of meeting the Pope


Virgin News reporter Zara King

Virgin News reporter Zara King

Virgin News reporter Zara King

Virgin Media's news reporter tells Chloe Brennan about her love of black dresses, Barbra Streisand and home-baking over FaceTime.

The person

My grandad. He's 87, lives in west Cork, recently joined a choir and goes to aqua aerobics two mornings a week to 'get the knee back'. He loves opera music, but ended up at an Eminem concert in Stockholm last year and loved it. I adore him.

The memory

Meeting the Pope on board the Papal jet.

The moment of the day

Probably those few seconds before we go live with the news. Hearing: 'We're coming to you next, Zara; stand by!' It never gets old.

The song

Doo-Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill.

The movie

I love the escapism of a romcom. I recently rewatched The Mirror has Two Faces. I love Barbra Streisand.

The book

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

The hero

I have two. Alex Crawford from Sky News. She's the epitome of bravery. Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times correspondent. Her documentary audio series, Caliphate, is one of the best pieces of journalism I've ever come across. The news gathering, verification process and storytelling is absolutely outstanding.

The outfit

Ninety per cent of my wardrobe is black dresses and I love them. Comfortable, easy to wear, uncomplicated - what's not to love about the humble black dress?

The vice

Chocolate and coffee. I gave up both recently. Five weeks in, I do feel better, but I still dream of a piping-hot Americano and some white chocolate Buttons.

The virtue


The accessory

Pearl earrings.

The gadget

A little gadget I find great is a wine aerator. It's a game changer if you're having a glass of red.

The pet hate

Nastiness. It costs nothing to be nice and none of us know what anyone else is going through on any given day. A smile and a little empathy never fail.

The hobby

I'm always happiest on a horse.

The part of my body

Maybe my eyes. They are the windows to the soul, etc.

The holiday

Sweden. I spend most of my holiday time travelling between Stockholm and Kalmar in the south of Sweden. It's gorgeous, the people are so kind, the Abba museum is a must, and it's only a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Dublin. Sweden is family time for me, made even more special this past year following the arrival of my cousin's first baby, Matthew. Obsessed.

The hotel

Hotel Rival in Stockholm. It's owned by Benny Andersson from Abba.

The piece of advice

'What's for you, won't pass' - my mother always says it. It's annoying to hear when you really want something and it doesn't happen for you, but the reason always reveals itself in time. Trust the process, work hard, stay true to yourself and be kind. What's meant for us will come in good time.

The beauty product

Mascara - Benefit Roller Lash, but the mini version, always. The short wand gets a brilliant grip on your lashes - it's like magic.

The bar

The Lifeboat Inn, in Courtmacsherry, west Cork, for a seafood platter and a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Bonus points if you get a table in the garden across the road on a summer's evening.

The celebrity

This is a very cliched choice, but Oprah Winfrey. She is a master interviewer.

The smell

My mum Maria's cooking/baking - basically anything she makes. My dad has been spoiled in quarantine. She's been teaching me how to bake over FaceTime, it's been such a lovely way to stay connected.

@Zara King

Sunday Indo Life Magazine