MTV's Laura Whitmore on Irish charmers and adding her mother on Facebook
Bray's favourite daughter and every man's favourite MTV presenter, Laura Whitmore talks to JOE about X Factor ambitions, Irish charmers and adding her mother as a friend on Facebook.
She’s more than just a pretty face, more than just a token Irish host on MTV. And how do we know? Because JOE had a quick chat with the drop dead gorgeous VJ, squeeze of The Coronas frontman Danny O’Reilly and Twitter addict, Laura Whitmore.
The 25-year-old’s career has been on the incline since she left our shores in 2008 after winning Pick Me MTV – a search to find a new presenter to co-host MTV News bulletins and half hour show MTV News: The News Cube with presenter Rickie Haywood Williams.
Upon winning the coveted presenting job, Laura was catapulted from an internship with Newstalk, where she learnt her trade, into a world of interviewing stars, partying with celebrities and, ultimately, living the high life.
“There was probably more pressure in Newstalk than there ever is in MTV,” Laura admits.
“It was a great place to learn though. It was an internship and my first job out of college. It was all about learning the basic skills for me, especially for interviews.
“Dublin and London are two very different places though. Dublin is very homely. If you’re on a night out, you bump into a lot of people you know. For me, I love London. It’s much more fast-paced. If you’re sick for a day you feel like you’ve missed everything!”
A quick background check on the delicious VJ shows a career in the fast lane and the media world was well laid out. During her time studying Journalism at DCU, Laura and some other cheeky students were involved in a TV advert for a musical the university was running – the ad starred a naked young man and one Laura Whitmore, holding his briefs.
“Obviously, a huge budget went into that ad,” Laura jokes. “It was on the City Channel I think. Fair play to them for letting a bunch of students put it together.
“I remember I was on the Podge & Rodge Show a while back and they showed the video of the ad with me and Stephen, a guy I went to college with, who’s pretty much naked in the ad. He said to me afterwards that he couldn’t believe his naked body was aired on RTE. His parents hadn’t seen it up until then!”
However, a slightly bigger break for Laura on the acting front was when Gala came calling for her to feature in a series of their petrol station shop adverts.
“Gala. Jesus. [Laughs]. I miss Gala though, we don’t have it over here.”
Already, it’s clear to see the prime differences between Ireland and England for Laura – you can’t get away with sick days as handy over there and you just can’t beat Gala! What about missing her family? And what about her fella, how does she manage to see Danny with such a hectic schedule and the Irish Sea separating them?
“I’ll let you know how it goes between us,” is Laura’s coy reply.
“I think living in a different country to my family helps with relationships. When you move away from home I think you appreciate your parents more.
“My mam has just got herself on Facebook, which is the scariest thing anyone can see. What do you do? Do you accept? She doesn’t understand it though, so it’s okay.
“When I first moved to London I didn’t really know anyone at all. I’m friends with Niall Breslin but to me he’s not a celebrity.”
Laura pictured with ladies man Clive Owen
The Blizzards frontman may be a star to us but in Laura’s world there are bigger fish to fry, particularly in terms of interviews.
“I’ve only really had one person that I always wanted to interview, and that was Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters,” Laura says.
“I interviewed him three weeks ago for the first time. I don’t usually get star struck or nervous for interviews but for him I did get butterflies in my tummy. They have a new documentary and I went along to see a preview of it. The whole band was there and I was trying not to freak out when Dave walked in. But I got through it and, of course, I got a picture as well.”
Her taste in music prompts the next query. What’s her taste in music like and, to be pushed, what three bands or artists top her playlist on her iPod?
“At the moment, I’m loving Biffy Clyro. They’re an amazing live band. I loved Stereophonics growing up and, you know what, I have to say U2. Go on, an Irish band. You know what, they put on a great live performance.
“With my job I’m really lucky because I get to see new artists coming through so I get a little taste. When I first started working in MTV I thought I had a particular taste in music that I liked but now I’m exposed to electro, R&B and hip hop so I’m liking new bands and artists that I wouldn’t have necessarily been interested in before.”
With the world at her feet at just 25, Laura has a bright future ahead of her and, in our opinion, would be a more than appropriate replacement for Konnie Huq on X Factor’s Xtra Factor. We’d be sure to tune in more, that’s for sure.
“I think that’s a great show. I don’t watch TV that much. When you’re on it you don’t tend to watch it too much. But X Factor is a show you always watch at the weekend. I haven’t done live TV that much. There’s such a buzz and adrenaline about that. That’s what the X Factor is, and working with the public is a big plus. As a presenter it looks like a really challenging show and it pushes new skills.”
Naturally enough, Laura’s striking good looks garner her much attention from us men folk. When JOE first noticed her crop up on the scene we couldn’t help but liken her to actress Reese Weatherspoon and when I mentioned this to Laura, she thought it could be a lot worse.
“Ah I’ll take that. I’ve had that mentioned to me since I was about 12 or 13, since the first Cruel Intentions came out. It’s okay though, I could look like Mary Harney, you know.”
That would be some travesty indeed, and finally what does she make of us – Irish men? At the moment Laura has remained patriotic by dating an Irish man but have the chaps in her adopted country made an impression and, more importantly, what do her hot English girlfriends think of us?
“Irish men are such charmers. All my English friends are always saying to me, “can you please bring over some Irish men?” They see pictures on Facebook and get to meet some of my Irish friends who come over and they’re always saying, “bring him back here, Irish men are amazing.”
Well Laura, we're pretty sure after this there will be one or two interested clients.