Friday 15 November 2019

Dear Quentin, so what's it like being an agony uncle?

Ireland's favourite advice columnists open up their inboxes to Deirdre Reynolds

Forget The Apprentice, The X Factor or The Voice -- this year's bitchiest reality TV battle sees eight mums battle it out to become an agony aunt.

In Jewish Mum of the Year, which is currently airing on Channel 4, competitors -- among them mum-of-two Lesley Berber from Cabinteely -- are pitted against each other to solve a set of tasks based on Jewish culture, including organising a Bar Mitzvah.

And the prize?

To face even more problems by becoming a British Jewish newspaper's first ever agony aunt.

Here at home, Ireland's agony aunts have been busy doling out advice ever since 'Dear Frankie' -- the legendary agony aunt Frankie Byrne on RTÉ radio show The Woman's Page -- hit the airwaves in 1963.

So, almost 50 years on, what have both the agony aunts and the general public learned about the art of getting by?

Here, three of the country's best known advice columnists -- past and present -- give the Irish Independent exclusive access to their inboxes and we discover whether life's problems really do change.

Irish Independent

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