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Kirsty McMurray on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 42-year-old is co-presenter of the Breakfast Show on Downtown Radio, with a morning show on Downtown Country. She lives in Bangor with fiance Andy Brisbane and her children Conor (15) and Katy (16).

My best moment

Having my kids — I can’t say that one was any better than the other. It wasn’t an easy time either, because I was married at that point and their dad worked away a lot. It meant I spent much of the time on my own, but I got to do it with my babies. It was an interesting time and it helped me grow in confidence as a person — I became more independent.

My best job

I love what I do now. Breakfast radio is great fun and I get a lot of satisfaction from it, too, especially with the Downtown listeners. You can brighten up someone’s day, so it’s a real privilege. The hours can be tough, but I’ve been working the breakfast slot now for eight years. I also present a morning show on Downtown Country and I love doing that, too — I never thought I would be a country music fan, though. It’s been a real education.

My best song

When my marriage was breaking up there was a group I became a huge fan of, and one song I remember listening to all the time. It was I’m Not OK by Chemical Romance and that really got me through the split. It always puts me in good form.

My best way to relax

Chilling out with Andy on the sofa watching a movie or some rubbish TV. We don’t get much time to relax and enjoy each other’s company, particularly as we go to bed really early — between nine and 10pm. A cup of tea with my feet up is a great way to spend an hour. 

My best advice

Be yourself — regarding how I am on air. Some presenters have a radio voice and a radio persona, but I think listeners trust you more and listen more intently when they feel they know you. I’m an open book on the radio.

My best gift

I still have pieces of pottery work that both children gave me when they were in primary school. Katy gave me a painted finger bowl and my son, Conor, gave me a clay hedgehog. They’re just simple things that I’ve held on to over the years.

My best achievement

For the last five years I’ve taken part in Strictly Come Dancing-style fundraisers — one of which was the Royal Does Strictly to raise money for the new MRI scanner. I’ve never won one, but Andy has joined me for the last couple of outings, and last year we did the dance from Dirty Dancing, including the lifts. I think we pulled it off and it’s something I’m really quite proud of.

My best buy

In the 99p shop I bought a mini laundry line with hooks for your smalls and socks. It’s the simplest thing, but it’s been so handy over the years.

My best movie

I love movies, so it’s really hard to pick a best one —  I’ll have to go for two. The first one is Castaway, as I’m a huge Tom Hanks fan and blub at it every time. The other film is The Blind Side which took me ages to watch — but when I did watch it, I thought it was amazing.

My best book

I don’t get as much time to read now as I used to, but one book I will lift again and again is Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt.

  • You can hear Kirsty on Downtown Breakfast from 6am-9am and Downtown Country from 9am-noon

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