Monday 19 August 2019

'I'm off the market', says smitten Victoria Smurfit after return to the UK

Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Victoria Smurfit and her daughter Evie
Victoria Smurfit and daughter Evie Baxter and guests at The Late Late Show in 2018
Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Victoria Smurfit has revealed she is no longer single after her break-up with film-maker boyfriend Alistair Ramsden last year.

The award-winning actress, who recently relocated to London afters seven years in Santa Monica, California, said she was now "off the market" but remained tight-lipped as to the identity of her new man.

"I'm off the market. I'm seeing someone and we are very happy," she said.

Victoria, who rose to fame for her role as Orla O'Connell in Ballykissangel, said she is also successfully co-parenting with her ex-husband Douglas Baxter, who also made the move to the UK.

Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Actress Victoria Smurfit launching the Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2019 at the Merrion Hotel. Picture: Robbie Reynolds

"We would only move as a family. We might not be married but we are very much a family, he has moved closer to London. We are strong co-parents."

Their children - Evie, Ridley and Flynn - will start school in England next month. She said she would find Brexit easier to handle than when her daughter's US school was targeted by a gunman. Earlier this year, Victoria said that she felt too uneasy sending her children to school in the US, where her children took part in four active shooter drills per year as a safety regulation.

"It's something we can't culturally fathom. There was [a gunman] at my daughter's school and it helped facilitate the move a little bit quicker.

"The kids were in a real lockdown, and the cops had to pick her up," she said.

"The school was perfect, they locked it down and did the drill and everyone was safe. But it took an awful lot of persuading to get them back into that school."

Meanwhile, the Dublin native said she wanted to be nearer family for her daughter Evie (14), who has been diagnosed with Stargardt disease, which can cause eye-sight loss.

They travelled to Switzerland earlier this week together to visit a doctor who is researching the disease and special treatments.

She said her daughter was "empowering" herself as an ambassador for fighting blindness and was proud of how she carried herself on The Late Late Show last year.

Victoria Smurfit and daughter Evie Baxter and guests at The Late Late Show in 2018
Victoria Smurfit and daughter Evie Baxter and guests at The Late Late Show in 2018

"She is a heck of a girl. She surprised me because we were [backstage], waiting to go on, and it is live and there is an audience, and it is late, it's 10.30pm and she has flown from LA, she doesn't know which way is up.

"And she looked at me like a small child and her microphone was being put on and she was like, 'Mom?!'

"Then when they called her name, her head went up, her shoulders back, her hip dropped and out she went.

"I thought I would have to back her up but she didn't need me at all. She was away, clear, articulate, funny."

As for her acting career, Victoria said she wouldn't rule out working in Ireland again.

"I am desperate after eight years of a theatrical, cultural wasteland. Doing theatre in LA that is not Hamilton or a big musical is like eating Chinese when you're in Rome - just don't do it," she said.

"It is a TV and film-centric town. There is great stuff coming out of Ireland and the theatre too." She said she is working on a new reality TV show and a new drama in the UK and the US.

Victoria was in Ireland to launch the Longines Irish Champions Weekend which takes place on September 14 in Leopardstown and September 15 in the Curragh.

Herald

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