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'We feel like Will and Kate in Ireland' - Dawn O'Porter talks female friendship, her new book, and visiting Boyle with Chris O'Dowd

Dawn O'Porter tells Shilpa Ganatra about losing her mum to cancer, the importance of strong female characters and why husband Chris O'Dowd doesn't get to read her books until they're finished

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Actress and presenter Dawn O'Porter. Photo: Gerry McManus

Actress and presenter Dawn O'Porter. Photo: Gerry McManus

Family life: Dawn and Roscommon actor Chris O'Dowd have two sons together

Family life: Dawn and Roscommon actor Chris O'Dowd have two sons together

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Actress and presenter Dawn O'Porter. Photo: Gerry McManus

Author, celebrity, TV star and vintage-fashion enthusiast Dawn O'Porter greets me in London sporting her classic style: her bob is luscious and glossy, her eyeliner is thick, she's wearing her favourite Ops and Ops retro shoes, Free People bellbottoms, and a Stoned Immaculate jumper with the female symbol on it. She doesn't need the symbol to show she's a feminist and proud of it; we're meeting to talk about her new book, So Lucky, which follows the lives of three female protagonists facing challenges behind their facades. There's Beth, a breast-feeding boss who's frustrated in her sexless marriage. Ruby - based on Clara Francis, O'Porter's friend and wife of actor Jason Watkins - is a Photoshop whizz whose excessive hair growth distresses her to the point of pushing away those closest to her, not helped by her battleaxe of a mother. Through them both, we hear second-hand accounts of Lauren, an Instagram star whose perfect life is set to get even more perfect with her wedding to a rich entrepreneur Altogether, it's a marvellously crafted, accessible story of the pressures that women face, and the honesty, strength and solidarity needed to overcome them. Four fiction books in, O'Porter recognises this as a theme in her writing.

"They always end with women coming together, and the power and the strength of female friendship," she says. "The women in my life are so important, and most women who have good friends feel that way - whether it's sisters, aunties or mums. When someone hasn't got good female relationships in their life, that's a real problem for them. That's basically Ruby, until she realises that her friends are actually good friends. But her relationship with her mother has been so hard."

Indeed, difficult relationships with mothers is another overarching theme, which she attributes to losing her own to cancer when she was seven.


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