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TV3 NEWSHOUND MAURA IS THE NEW FACE ON IRELAND AM; My love for Dail hunk John.

Byline: FIONA WYNNE

TV3 presenter Maura Derrane yesterday revealed how she was left speechless after boyfriend John Deasy asked her to marry him.

The dark-haired beauty had only been going out with the Waterford TD for five months when he popped the question.

And Maura, known for her chatty personality, was so shocked that she couldn't utter a word.

Maura, who has joined Mark Cagney as the co-host of breakfast show Ireland AM, told the Irish Mirror: "John proposed to me in a restaurant, it was completely out of the blue.

"I was sitting there with a fork in my hand and my mouth just dropped. I was completely incapable of speaking or moving or thinking. I was just so shocked and believe me there isn't much that can render me speechless.

"I didn't know what to say, I wasn't prepared for it. In the movies the girl is always completely prepared for the big question and is perfectly composed.

"I was the exact opposite but it still worked out well. John asked me a few more times and tried to get some sense out of me and eventually I said yes.

"It took me about six months to realise I was getting married. But I am delighted and looking forward to it.

Maura, 35, and 36-year-old John have now been going out for 15 months and will tie the knot after Christmas.

The devoted couple will eventually set up home in John's native Dungarvan but children are not on the cards just yet.

Maura, originally from the Aran Islands, added: "We haven't fixed a date for the wedding yet. We were hoping to get married in the autumn but I'd say it will be in the New Year.

"John lives in Waterford but he is up in Dublin two or three days a week and then I visit him at the weekends.

"He lives in Dungarvan right on the beach and I love it down there, it's my favourite place in the world and I would love to move there.

"Life has changed a lot recently and I am just going with the flow, but I could see myself leaving Dublin.

"John is very supportive and he is delighted with my new job. When I told him I was going to do the trial on Ireland AM he just said, 'You are going to love this and it is going to be perfect for you'.

"I wasn't so convinced, I kept saying I'd wait and see what would happen but he knew from day one this was for me. John is not an angel, no man is, but he is very good for me.

"We both have demanding and often crazy jobs and we have had to learn to give a lot in our relationship. I would love to be with him everyday but at the moment it's just not possible and we have to work around it.

"We are both prepared to put the work in and we'll just cross the bridges as we come to them.

"We have talked about kids and I would like to have a family with John at some stage. I have never been very maternal and I don't look at kids and think, 'Oh my God, I want one of those'.

"But if I want kids I'd better start thinking about it soon.

MY philosophy has always been if it happens it happens, I try not to plan too much because the best plans never work.

"So that is how I'm going to approach my life from now on."

Maura is best known as TV3 News' crime correspondent and has reported on some of the country's most notorious crimes.

However, after 10 years making the news, Maura is happy to be taking on a more relaxed role.

She said: "I'm not sorry to be leaving news. I had a great time and I enjoyed it but it was hard work and emotionally and physically draining.

"I've been in news since 1994 and it's a long time really. Being the crime correspondent is no laughing matter and you have to be very serious.

"I was dealing with murders, rapes, robbery and all these things are hurtful to people and you have to show some sensitivity. When people meet me for the first time they always think I'm going to be really dull and boring.

"Ireland AM is a great chance to show people my other side. I never thought for a minute I'd like it so much.

"Before I started I was a little worried about it but my boss just told me to be myself. And before I go out there I always just think, 'Be yourself Maura and if they like you - great, if they don't - it's not the end of the world'.

"Then on my first show the texts starting coming in. People were saying I was fun and they liked me. I was genuinely shocked.

IN news I had to wear a suit and look very stern, now I can wear my own clothes and do a bit of experimenting.

"I don't know what I will be doing from one day to the next but that doesn't unnerve me. You have to be very adaptable with TV news and think quickly under pressure. Ireland AM is different and when I'm told I have to talk about fashion I just think, 'Oh my God, I'm getting paid to do the stuff I do for fun'.

"I think all women have a girlie side and it's great that I finally have an opportunity to show mine. Sure I like to talk about serious things, I studied law and I love it, but I also love reading Hello! magazine and watching Sex And The City."

Maura only has one problem now, getting used to waking up at 4am. But she is prepared to allow her social life to suffer in the name of her new career.

She added: "I do miss going out for a couple of drinks with friends or even going out for dinner, but I just can't do it if I have to get up so early. I had a great time for years so I'm prepared for my social life to suffer a bit now.

"I don't think I would have been able to do this job in my 20s, I'd have been turning up for work with big black bags under my eyes.

"I'm hoping to get into a proper routine where I will go to the gym two or three days a week but we'll have to wait and see how that works out. I don't mind being tired if I'm doing what I love."

Watch Maura on Ireland AM from 7am to 10am on TV3, Monday to Friday.

CAPTION(S):

SERIOUS: Maura was TV3's crime reporter; FIANCE; Maura will wed TD John Deasy in the New Year; CO-HOST; Maura joins Mark Cagney on the Ireland AM couch; BEAUTY; Maura Derrane swaps mic for comforts of TV studio
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 16, 2004
Words:1172
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