As dream jobs go, this one could hardly have been higher up Sarah Brett's wish list.
But, so far, she freely admits that the much-coveted Good Morning Ulster gig is not quite what she signed up for.
Rather than sharing the studio hot-seat alongside a co-presenter in Belfast, and with a bank of producers just behind the studio glass, the 46-year-old anchor began her new role in broadcasting from the sunroom in her elderly parents' home in Donegal.
Now, after ending 2020 by moving into a new house in Co Londonderry, she is "still working remotely", but this time surfing the airwaves from "a little bunker in the Radio Foyle studio".
"GMU was the job that I always really wanted," she said.
"It's BBC NI's flagship breakfast programme. It's had superb presenters down through the years and is a massive honour. I thought I was ready for it."
Nevertheless, she has high hopes of hitting Belfast "in the spring" - when, for the first time, she will join sidekick Chris Buckler (45) and the rest of the GMU team in its Ormeau Avenue studio - over a year since she first got the job.
"Chris and I haven't actually seen each other since the interview process, which was at the end of December 2019," Sarah revealed.
"Much as I'd had a great time on BBC Radio 5 Live, I'd been looking to come back to Northern Ireland for a while. I always missed home.
"My mum and dad were getting to an age where they were going to need me around a bit more often."
Going through the interview process, Sarah said she was "very pleased to see that Chris was one of the people in the frame for it."
She added that the pair, who front GMU together three days a week - she does Monday to Thursday, while he covers Tuesday to Friday - didn't actually know each other, although she was aware of Buckler's work, which included a two-year stint in the US as BBC's Washington Correspondent.
With a global pandemic in full swing, causing massive disruption to 'normal' working practices, Sarah revealed: "It was the strangest start to a job that you could possibly experience".
Having initially relocated from the Peak District to Donegal with husband Terry Coyle (48) and six-year-old son Theo, Sarah was well aware of the challenge that lay ahead.
"I felt a real weight of responsibility to be broadcasting on a programme that reaches all of Northern Ireland at such an important time, said Sarah, who follows in the footsteps of GMU stalwarts Noel Thompson and Karen Patterson.
"With that in mind, I had to put to one side the weirdness of being only yards away from my entire sleeping family!"
As a presenter on the Manchester-based national 5 Live station for five years before landing the Radio Ulster role, Sarah is no stranger to flying solo, so how much is she enjoying being a co-host?
"For news presentation, I believe a double-headed programme is the best way," she replied.
"It's what I like listening to the most. It sounds a lot better, especially if there's good chemistry between the two presenters."
She added: "Having said that, if I was doing, say, Desert Island Discs - Lauren [Laverne], if you're listening I'm coming for you - it's my favourite programme ever and that would definitely be a single header for me."
Celebrity interviewees during her 5 Live stint included Russell Crowe - she kept the teaspoon he stirred his coffee with, and then lost it; Big Little Lies actor Alexander Skarsgard and Formula 1 star Jenson Button.
"The great thing about 5 Live was that you got to have such in-depth interviews with people you could never have imagined spending so much time with, from Stephen Fry to Stormzy," she said.
"It meant a lot of preparation, but it was an amazing gig."
As Sarah, an only child, alluded to earlier, the main reason for coming home was to spend more time with parents Margaret (85) and Aubrey but, sadly, she lost her father on August 18.
"We celebrated his 86th birthday on June 29, which was great fun," Sarah recalled.
"While I realise how appalling a year it has been for many people, I was deeply fortunate that the pandemic gave me the opportunity to spend quality time with my father that I otherwise wouldn't have had... so I feel very blessed on that front.
"He'd been ill for a long time - he had a heart condition - but he soldiered on. He was on 12 different tablets.
"But while clearly knew how poor his health was, hilariously he was also quite the hypochondriac.
"Dad was absolutely convinced that I had given him coronavirus coming back from England. In the end he was tested for it, and of course he didn't have it."
Aubrey Brett died, surrounded by all the people he loved, including his wife of 64 years.
"He passed away, here in the house," Sarah said.
"I was colouring-in with my son on a Tuesday morning around 10. I'd made my parents their breakfast in bed, then mum came in and told me dad was making a funny noise.
"I went in to his room and could see that he was in massive trouble.
"It was hard to tell whether he'd choked or was having a heart attack but, because I knew about his condition, I thought it was much more likely to have been the latter.
"I put him into the recovery position and cleared his airway and started CPR. I kept going until a friend came to the house with a defibrillator and took over.
"That was probably the most traumatic part, because you never expect to have to give your own father CPR. It was really, really difficult."
Sarah also revealed that she has since tortured herself with dark thoughts.
"You wonder if you did it wrong, could you have done something more," she said.
"I spent the first week lying in bed every night, going over the entire thing."
She said that when two teams of paramedics arrived they "gave him everything they could", including injections and shocks with the EMT paddles.
"They worked on him for a further 30 or 40 minutes," she recalled. "It was all so deeply distressing; you're pleased that they're doing everything they can for him, but he's lying on the floor of his bedroom.
"I can see my mum on the other side of the hallway and she's looking at her husband lying there, with all of these people around him, and he's in his PJs and not moving... it was absolutely horrendous."
But, as she said: "If there's any consolation to be had, my dad died at home in a matter of minutes after a full breakfast, with his wife beside him, with no fear or pain, and with the rest of his family around him."
Describing her mum as being "up and down" in the aftermath of her husband's death, Sarah said: "Aubrey was her absolute everything; her whole world revolved around him and vice-versa. She feels rudderless now."
She recalled how much she enjoyed the previous Christmas with Aubrey, a former butcher, who worked at the world-famous Smithfield Market in London before going on to run a meat processing plant in England.
Memories of 2019 obviously made the most recent Yuletide a little harder to get through.
"We had many things in common but food and laughter were chief among them," she said. "We loved being in the kitchen together, and on Christmas Day we were like a machine!"
And then there was the 'turkey incident' from a few years back.
"We couldn't fit everything into the fridge on Christmas Eve and my dad decided to put the turkey crown on an outside table," she said.
"When I got up on Christmas morning and looked out the window, I saw a load of plastic packaging rolling around... and when I went outside I realised it was the wrapping of what had been the turkey crown.
"That was all that remained of it.
"We've got a local fox - and the fantastic Mr Fox had seen his opportunity and taken it... he dragged the turkey away and we never saw a scrap of it on the big day. We ate a lot of ham that year..."
Husband Terry (48), whom she married in June 2013, is an artist, as well as a "fully trained teacher", and Sarah revealed that "he's one of those people who's extraordinarily talented".
"He's really good at landscaping and building and we've just bought a house that needs a lot of both of those things, which is handy".
She added: "I wasn't sure if either marriage or children would ever happen for me.
"I'd a very close relationship with my parents, good mates, was working hard and just enjoying life. But then you meet somebody, and all of that goes out the window... Terry got me right when I thought I was about to get away with it!"
Recalling her time at 5 Live, Sarah spoke fondly of colleagues Chris Mason ("he's just brilliant"), Nicky Campbell ("I got on really well with him") and Dan Walker ("great fun").
Now that she is broadcasting from her "little bunker", Sarah drives into Derry from Eglinton after getting up at 4.20am. It is a big change from getting to bed in the wee small hours, which is what she did when she worked in England. "My body clock's shot to bits, but I absolutely love my new job," she said.
So how does a busy working mum with a six-year-old manage to juggle everything?
"As anyone with a demanding job and children will tell you... you're knocking your pan in trying to be a brilliant mother and being the best you can at work, while at the same time feeling like you're stuffing it all up."
With fellow Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Nolan occasionally referring to GMU as "Buckler's Show", I ask Sarah if she would prefer it was called "Sarah's Show" instead.
With characteristic diplomacy, she replied: "I'm very happy for it to stay as Good Morning Ulster."
Who knows, maybe Desert Island Discs will one day have her name on it.