James Kavanagh and Glenda Gilson: ‘I cry every time the Kerrygold ad is on’

In Conversation: The ‘Ireland’s Got Mór Talent’ presenters on camouflage clothing, old Louboutin boots, tiny tattoos, prawn linguine to die for and worrying about the future


What is your favourite item of clothing that you own?

James: Mine changes every time I get something new. Currently it’s my giant camouflage jacket that says ‘Queen’ on the back. You can’t see me when I’m wearing it. S**t joke.

Glenda: I made that joke the other day. Put on camouflage tracksuit bottoms and a top and was like ‘can you see me?’

James: Ha ha!

Glenda: Mine would have to be footwear. I’ve a big obsession with footwear – boots more so than shoes. If I see a cool pair of boots with a nice heel on them . . .

James: You’re mad for boots.

Glenda: I have a pair of Christian Louboutin boots I’ve had for 10 years. I’ve brought them to a cobbler and each time I bring them in he’s like, ‘these are fit for the bin.’ I cannot part with them. Every time they come back brand new! They’ve been brought back to life, honestly, about six times.

James: Good investment.

What is your death row meal?

James: My boyfriend’s prawn linguine.

Glenda: Your boyfriend’s prawn?

James: Yes, my boyfriend’s prawn is my death row meal. No! Linguine.

Glenda: A really nice steak with pepper sauce. I don’t crave steak that often, but I think that’s a good aul’ feed to send you on your way.

Do you have any tattoos?

James: I’ve a tiny one on my finger, a little cross, that I had done at a session when I was about 21. My friend did it on about seven of our friends’ fingers.

Glenda: It’s actually really good, they usually fade when they’re on your fingers.

James: It’s just a little stick and poke. She did it at about 7am, scaldy. It’s a nice friendship tattoo!

Glenda: I don’t have any. For years I kept saying, ‘yeah, I’ll go and get one,’ but I haven’t had the balls. If I end up at one of your parties and your mate is there, that is the time, full of booze going ‘yeah, f**k it!’

When did you last cry?

Glenda: Away in London knowing I just missed my flight and I’m homeless for the evening . . . A grown woman ringing my husband going, ‘I’ve nowhere to stay!’

James: I cry every time the Kerrygold ad is on, where the mum is dead. The son is cooking with his mum and it turns out it’s a memory, and the wife walks in and she’s like ‘John, are you okay?’ and he’s like ‘Sorry, love, I was miles away’. I cry every time.

What is your favourite destination to visit?

Glenda: Has to be New York. Every time I go I just get that excited feeling. I love everything about New York, and I love New Yorkers as well.

James: Japan. I’ve only been once. It’s the best place ever.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?

James: Probably that the Leaving Cert is the be-all and end-all. That was hammered into my head for six years. Now I see that it’s not quite true. There are loads of roads to success.

Glenda: I’d second that. I remember the fear in sixth year, wondering what you’re going to do. You’re only a kid. I think you have to live your life, work at a few things, find out who you are.

Do you have any personal motto or mantra?

Glenda: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

James: I agree with that. And maybe to always remind yourself that it gets better. Anytime I’m in a horrible situation, I just remind myself that it’s temporary.

Can you guess what the other person’s go-to drink is?

James: A bottle of Peroni.

Glenda: Yes! Prosecco?

James: Yes!

What is your favourite TV show of all time?

Glenda: Ireland’s Got Mór Talent, of course!

James: Same!

Glenda: Or Xposé!

James: Do you know what mine is, Six Feet Under. It’s my favourite show, actually.

Glenda: I’m going to go with Ozark and The Sinner. They’re two I really enjoyed watching last year.

What subject do you wish you studied more in school?

Glenda: Eh, everything? If only I was sitting in class now, you’d learn so much more. Maths, English, Irish, I did how many years of Irish, and all I can say is ‘an bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas, más é do thoil é’. I spent a lot of time doing art and playing sports, because those were things I liked.

James: I’d probably say French. I would love be able to speak a second language.

Who is the first person you call when something brilliant happens?

Glenda: When something brilliant and awful happens, it has to be my husband, Rob.

James: My dad, really. Now that I’ve thought about it, that is the person I call. I’d think I’d say William, my boyfriend, or my mum, but it’s actually my dad.

What do you worry about the most?

James: I worry about the future the most. Where I’m going to be in 10 years. I’m in an occupation that’s uncertain, so I worry about the future and money a lot.

Glenda: I’m a worrier. I worry about everything. I’m on TV now, I don’t know if I’ll be there next year. In the entertainment business you’re never safe.

Glenda Gilson and James Kavanagh present Ireland’s Got Mór Talent, Saturdays on TV3 at 9pm

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