Glend-ing a hand | 

Glenda Gilson reveals presenting Love Island would be her dream job

“Of course, I would love to do Love Island, it’s the hottest thing on TV right now. Being in a villa with a pool and gorgeous people around you, why wouldn’t you want that?”

Glenda with her boys Bobby and Danny at home. Photo: Mark Condren

Glenda balances work projects with quality time at home with her two little boys

Glenda Gilson launches the Irish Heart Foundation’s ‘Her Heart Matters’ campaign

Glenda with husband Rob MacNaughton and their sons, Bobby and Danny

Glenda Gilson favourite room in Saggart. Glenda with baby Bobby in the nursery. Photo: Tony Gavin 16/1/2019

Sunday World

Glenda Gilson has hit that sweet spot most working mums dream of.

Exiting Virgin Media last year, the mum-of-two has become her own one-woman show, picking and choosing what TV projects and collaborations best suit her and her young family.

But the straight-talking TV presenter insists she doesn’t have it all figured out.

More garrulous, unfiltered and delightfully chill than she appears on TV, the 41-year-old sits down with Magazine+ and explains: “I look at my house and my wardrobe is a mess, I need to do this and do that.

“I really applaud women who work full time and look after their kids and make dinners and put washes on and clean their house. It is tough going.

“I always knew when I was going to be a mother that I was going to put the time into them. They are not babies forever.

Glenda balances work projects with quality time at home with her two little boys

“I am really happy with the way my life is right now. I just adore them. Don’t get me wrong, some days it’s like, ‘Get me out of here’, but I can dip in and out and do things like this campaign, then come home in the afternoon dying to see them.”

Speaking of the two loves of her life, Bobby and Danny, who will turn four and two next month, the social media stargushes: “They just light up our lives. Bobby is full of stories and chat and getting words mixed up and Danny is babbling — he’s really getting to love his voice, so he is constantly screaming. They really do bring us such joy.”

Her boys are part of the reason why the model is fronting the Irish Heart Foundation’s ‘Her Heart Matters’campaign.

Learning she had high cholesterol came as a huge shock to the adored personality.

“I found out my cholesterol is high this year. I thought that was something that would just affect my mam and dad but I forget I am getting older as well .

“I have a few friends that said, ‘Ah Glenda, seriously, cholesterol?’ And I told them to get it checked. Rob came with me to my local pharmacy and it turned out his cholesterol was high and I was like, ‘Ha, see?’

“In our 20s, we think we are infallible and everything will always be grand, and our 30s are in and around the same. Then in your 40s — because I am in my 40s now — it’s like, ‘Oh jeepers!’”

But don’t expect the former model to be hung up on her age.

Glenda Gilson launches the Irish Heart Foundation’s ‘Her Heart Matters’ campaign

“I remember just before turning 40 feeling a bit depressed about it. We were in lockdown which was depressing enough without having to turn 40 and not able to celebrate with my family and friends. When I eventually turned the big 4-0 I was actually grand. Nothing dramatic happened, I didn’t feel any different.

“People might look at me fronting this campaign and say, ‘I’m the same age as her’ and it might encourage them to check their heart.

“I need women to listen because we have oestrogen that fights against heart disease. But when you get into your 40s, the menopause starts coming and you lose that oestrogen. That’s when you have to check your heart.”

On matters of the heart, Glenda and husband Rob MacNaughton celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary recently. Candid as ever, Glenda laughs: “We are 13 years with each other now and it’s still marital bliss, as you can imagine — I put that up on Instagram and Rob said, ‘Are you taking the piss?’ The amount of my friends that laughed and said, ‘Marital bliss, Glenda?’”

Looking back at their dream day in Co Clare, Glenda admits to feeling her age: “Even the print of some pictures looks old. I felt like my mother looking at them!”

Glenda with husband Rob MacNaughton and their sons, Bobby and Danny

She may have some top secret TV projects in the pipeline, but the broadcaster says she is still available, willing and ready to throw her hat in the ring for the most coveted gig on TV ­— Love Island.

“Of course, I would love to do Love Island, it’s the hottest thing on TV right now. Being in a villa with a pool and gorgeous people around you, why wouldn’t you want that?

“I love the entertainment world. I love anything that is a bit of craic.”

The former Xposé presenter may have once beamed into our sitting rooms each evening, but now fans can get a fix of their favourite presenter from their smartphone.

With 93k-plus followers on Instagram, Glenda has fast become her own brand.

“Every day before I started work, the only thing I would look at was the ratings to see what we got the night before. The ratings are now on my phone.

“I love that I have nice people following me on Instagram. I always respond to people, if anyone asks me a question I will come back to them. “Social media can be horrible at times. But people are always very nice to me and I put my kids up there and people are very complimentary so I enjoy my social networking. I just try and always keep it real.”

Having signed up to a new talent agency, Glenda is also excited for fresh opportunities that are coming her way.

“Matchstick are an English company after broadening their horizons and coming to Ireland. They are working with UK and Irish brands. They are hip, they are honest, so why not? You have to change up things every now and again. They’re excited, so I’m excited — watch this space.”

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