Tommy Bowe has admitted that he has “big boots to fill” as he replaces Ciara Doherty on Ireland AM.
The former Ireland and Ulster rugby star announced he would be joining the team alongside Alan Hughes, Karen Koster and Glenda Gilson each weekday morning.
The father-of-two spoke exclusively to Goss.ie, where he revealed that he “absolutely” felt the pressure to fill in for Ciara.
“I got to work with Ciara for two of the three weeks I was in over summer, and even just watching her – she’s an incredible journalist,” Tommy said.
“She’s really good at asking some tough questions. But it’s incredible how she can just flick that switch to being able to put a smile on people’s faces and have a bit of a laugh too.
“Ciara is someone I’m really going to try and emulate because that’s what this show is about. You’re covering such a crazy array of topics, and you can go from hard-hitting, serious news to a cooking segment where you’ve got whipped cream on your face.
“That’s something that I’m looking forward to, and certainly Ciara is a pro at it. She’ll be a big loss to the show of course, but it’s a great opportunity for me to get in there and give it a go.”
“Ireland AM is a brilliant opportunity for me to try something different,” he continued, “It’s live television, tackling some really interesting topics in the early mornings when people are waking up to the news with us.
“I think that’s something very exciting to be a part of. There seems to be a really good family in there, with the likes of Karen and Alan, Glenda, Brianna…they seem to just get on so well and for me to be welcomed into that family, I feel very fortunate.”
After welcoming a newborn son back in March, Tommy admitted it has prepared him for the early morning starts: “Certainly a newborn will get you used to early starts that’s for sure!”
“In terms of what I’m hoping to bring to the show, I’m just hoping to be myself – I think that’s the most important thing and that’s what I’ve learnt particularly in television and live television.
“You can try and put on a front, you can try and be a professional and be as impressive as you can, but really it just comes down to being yourself. I hope the viewers get to see me being able to talk about serious topics and delve into them, but also be able to provide entertainment.
“It is early mornings – people are going to be waking up and having their coffee and cornflakes and might want a smile put on their face, certainly with what’s going on at the minute.
“The world and Ireland are going through difficult times and if I can put a smile on people’s faces with good entertainment and give them the news too, I think that would be just perfect.”