An Interview - Ireland AM New Host Tommy Bowe
Over the years, Tommy Bowe has been part of some pretty famous teams – from a grand-slam winning Ireland side to the British and Irish Lions. Now, the Monaghan man has been snapped up in the signing of the season – as the new host of Ireland AM on Virgin Media One!
Every day from 7am on Virgin TV 103, the former rugby star will be holding down the fort alongside Karen Koster and Alan Hughes – part of a Virgin Media Television line-up featuring the best in daytime TV from at home and abroad. We caught up with Tommy to have a chat as his new adventure kicks off...
Getting used to the early mornings yet?
Haha, it’s all going OK so far! It’s a bit of a shock to the system, absolutely, but I’ve been enjoying it. It’s good fun, and I’ve been delighted to get started.
Ireland AM is famous for covering just about everything;how are you finding life as a jack of all trades?
You know, a lot of it is new for me. I was lucky to have three weeks as a bit of a trial run during the summer, and it was a bit of a surprise to see how you have to be abreast of so many topics – from making news to talking to people about their new book to interviewing people who are going through difficult times in business and the arts. Even though it’s at seven o’clock in the morning, you really need to be on the ball! It’s a great challenge. Obviously I’m a rugby player, I’m involved in clothing and shoe brands, but I’ve a lot of things that I’m interested in away from that, so it’s a cool opportunity to show that.
Will you be revealing hidden talents along the way – discover you’re an avid artist or something?
No, certainly not – I’m afraid there’s nothing new you’re going to find out there! We had to design a facemask a few weeks ago, and it showed exactly where I’m at as an artist; it’s definitely not one of my prowesses!
What’s it been like joining a new team – and, indeed, being the new name on the lineup?
It’s been different, coming in to be part of a team again. It’s funny, when I started the show Karen was still away and Alan was on holidays too; I was in with Glenda and Laura, which was great. But now, sitting in beside Karen and Alan, it’s been brilliant; there’s a great buzz between the two of them, so for me to feed off that made me feel really welcome.
Do you have dream guests, or things you’d love to cover on the show?
Obviously the sporting side is something I’m hugely into. I got to interview David Walsh, the Sunday Times columnist, and I’ll look forward to getting more people from the sports world in. I also love business, so just to chat with people and pick their brains is great. There’s loads of things I’d love to cover, and we’ve only got a glimpse of it so far. The only thing is that when you get someone on you’d love to chat for half an hour and you might only have eight minutes to squeeze everything in – that’s a challenge!
Another challenge is combining the serious stuff with a bit of fun; is it hard to strike a balance?
That’s the skill of it all, really; the thing you’ll see that Alan and Karen are so good at. They can go through the news, or talk to someone going through really difficult times with illnesses, and then share a joke and make things light-hearted, or head to the kitchen to make a dessert or something. That change of tones isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and it’s something I’m definitely working on. In terms of going into a new job, I think you’ve always got to look forward to being challenged in different ways; that’s what I wanted, and that’s certainly what I got!
More of a PM type of person?! You can catch up with Tommy on Ireland AM on Virgin Media Player whenever you fancy right here – no alarm clock needed!