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New Xposé presenter GLENDA GILSON talks candidly about the malicious newspaper allegations printed about her late Uncle Liam Lawlor, recalls the feelings of pride she had for her ex Brian O’Driscoll captained the Irish squad to a Grand Slam victory and looks forward to Xposé Live at the RDS!.
Jason O'Toole, 12 May 2009
Xposé has increased in popularity since Glenda joined last year. Initially, she was taken on as a reporter for six months as a substitute for Sybil Mulcahy, who went on maternity leave. Station bosses quickly decided to offer Glenda a full-time role.
Glenda says she was stunned when the news broke about Lorraine’s departure. “Lorraine was the team,” she admits. “It was a big shock to all of us.”
What about speculation that Lorraine was fired?
“No. Not a chance. I spoke to Lorraine and she seemed happy to go, so... it’s her decision. There’s always been speculation. Jesus! When I came in the door there was speculation about me. All I was reading for about a year was: I was fighting with Sybil – that Sybil hated me because I took her job. But Sybil came back into the job. It was nonsense.”
She may love the gig, but Glenda is far from being star-struck when she interviews some of Hollywood’s biggest names. “They all clean their arse like the rest of us!” she laughs.
Glenda set out on the path to fame at the tender age of three, when she appeared in ad campaigns for McDonald’s, Kellogg’s Cornflakes, and Bank of Ireland.
“My mum’s best friend was Geraldine Brand and she owned Brand’s Modelling Agency. She used to ask my mum to send me to castings. I actually did really well when I was younger – I was an awful lot busier than when I got older (laughs)! Any ad you think of I practically did. I won the picture of the year with Alison Doody when I was four. Then, I worked my way up.”
Glenda eased off on the modelling when she as in secondary school, except during the summer. She then took a two-year sabbatical in fifth and sixth year to concentrate on the Leaving Cert. She went on to study TV, radio and print journalism at Ballyfermot College. All the while, Glenda was doing modelling work.
“I was a clotheshorse for years,” she says. “In the end, I started doing well with my modelling. So I went that way and I said, ‘If I want to get into TV, this is the way I’ve got to do it’. I kept my face out there and got my name known. TV was always something I wanted to get into. Always.”