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Relatively Speaking: Mum and daughter, Mary and Emma-Louise Johnston

By Karen Ireland

Former GMTV star Emma-Louise Johnston is currently enjoying time out with her family and is expecting her third child. Her journalist mum Mary Johnston is officially retired, but still writing and travelling.

Name: Emma- Louise Johnston

Age: 38

Occupation: television presenter

Relationship to Mary: daughter

I spent most of my working life at GMTV in Northern Ireland as a local then a national correspondent. I loved my job, but left when I got married to my husband, Jonathan Crawford.

At the time I did wonder if I was doing the right thing, giving up such a good career to be at home, but honestly, I have never looked back.

I love my life now. Jonathan and I have been married for eight years and we live in a rural part of Maghera.

We have two children, Emily (4) and JJ (2), and I am now six months pregnant with my third child.

Life is good. I feel very blessed that I get to be at home with the children to watch them grow up. I also work when the opportunity arises - some voice-overs and corporate presenting work, so I have a good balance. Some of my friends have to get up early every day and rush off to get their children to a childminder.

For them, time off is a luxury to spend with their family, so I am very fortunate being at home with mine.

Mum and I have always been close. We talk every day on the phone and see each other a couple of times a week.

I really appreciate my mum and the relationship I have with her. I know how lucky I am, and I would never take her for granted.

She is wonderful with her grandchildren. I get to see the children through her eyes and she points things out that she has noticed about them - like how well their speech is coming on and how they are developing their own wee characters.

We usually go on holidays together and spend weekends away with the kids. I love going home to her house in Belfast and walking up around by Belfast Castle with the buggies. That is where I grew up, so I am very nostalgic about it.

When she comes to visit me she rolls her sleeves up and helps out, whether it is doing the ironing or cleaning the bathroom. She is a fantastic mum and I am lucky to have her.

Name: Mary Johnston

Age: 67

Occupation: retired journalist

Relationship to Emma Louise: mother

You could call me semi-retired, I reckon. I still work when I want to and get asked to write articles for various publications.

I do a lot of travel writing and am very lucky as I get to visit some amazing places. I have also become something of an adrenaline junkie at my stage in life. I have been horse riding and driven off-road in Colorado.

Over the course of my career I have written for most local and national publications. I stayed at home when my four children were born and went back to work in the late Eighties.

Emma-Louise and I are very close - we always have been. But I always ensure that I am her mother and she is my daughter first and foremost - I am not a friend. That said, I would like to think she is able to come to me if she ever needs advice or support and I will always be there for her, as I will for all my children.

If I am in a low mood or feeling down, Emma-Louise has a way of bringing me round. She is a big softie. I wish sometimes she would toughen up, but her gentle nature has never done her any harm and she has had a great career. Emma-Louise is one of the most patient people I know - I wish I was more like her in that way.

She is very fortunate as she had a national TV career and now is enjoying being a mum and spending time with her family. If she does decide to take on work, then I will mind the children, and it is a real joy watching them grow up.

Emma-Louise and I share a love of walking and talking about all that is going on in the world, which can lead to some friendly debates.

A life in front of the camera

  • Emma-Louise Johnston is a freelance television presenter from Maghera
  • As well as television presenting, she has worked as a reporter and producer. She worked for 12 years with ITV's breakfast programme, GMTV
  • She has also presented travel programmes on local TV in her native Northern Ireland
  • She has reported for ITN and Australia's Seven News, and has interviewed Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg, Paul Squire, Tom Hanks and Kofi Annan
  • Other work includes hosting exhibitions, and events and guest speaking

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