A Day in the Life: Paul Walsh

Features

DOUBLE JOBBING Paul Walsh, a native of Clonbur, combines working in TV with Virgin Media with a burgeoning career as a musician.

Factfile

Name: Paul Walsh
Age: 39 (since St Patrick’s Day)
From: Clonbur
Lives: Dublin
Works: TV presenter/singer-songwriter.

I WORK as a Sports Anchor with Virgin Media.
So depending on what shift I’m on, and because I’m not a morning person and live just ten minutes from work, I don’t tend to get up any earlier than I have to.
The earliest I would have to set my alarm for is 8am. If I’m in the mood, I might have a work-out with some home-gym equipment I bought during lockdown.
But most days I’ll probably just go straight to a breakfast of porridge, fruit and berries.
Then I’ll stick on Ireland AM or Sky Sports News to see what stories are making the sports headlines, and head in to work. There are three sports bulletins on Virgin Media One — at 12.30pm, 5.30pm and 8.30pm — so my working day depends on whether I’m reporting or anchoring those bulletins.  
I started full-time with TV3 (which subsequently became Virgin Media) back in 2005 and worked my way up. During my work experience from college I was a camera assistant, then I got in as a ‘runner’, before a full-time role in the news library opened up.
I’ve been doing the sports reporting and presenting job for a while now and, like anything that you do quite a lot, you naturally improve.
I wouldn’t like to watch myself back when I was starting off!
There are definitely still nerves there when you go ‘live’ on TV. I find I’m quite relaxed and composed beforehand but I’d always be buzzing afterwards.
But I enjoy what I do. I’m very lucky, I really like my job.
If I’m in early, I always have my main meal at lunch-time in the canteen at work. I’m trying to be healthy these days, and I can’t eat dairy, so I’m trying to go vegan as much as possible. Although I am eating some fish and, being honest, I fall off the vegan wagon completely if I’m not organised and prepared.
I don’t find it hard to switch off at all, and even though I work in sport, I’d watch sport on TV if there was a game on. I find going for a walk is a great way to relax too.
Most evenings, and at weekends, I’d mess around on my guitar or on the piano. I find that very therapeutic and really good for the mind.
Music has become a big part of my life over the years.
I played the tin-whistle and the keyboard growing up, but it was only when I went to college that I started teaching myself how to play the guitar.
I started recording songs on my phone around 2007/2008 and passed them on to some of my friends to get some feedback. There were lots of twists and turns along the way, but about ten years later I recorded a song properly.
I just decided to go for it. I thought the songs I was writing were good enough to be recorded and released, so I had to get them out there to find out.
My first single, ‘It’s Over’ was released two months ago under my artist name, ‘Pink Rabbits’. It’s one of my favourite songs that I’ve written and it means a lot to me.
The reaction to it has been lovely, it’s been really great.
My parents have been really supportive too, although it’s been weird getting compliments from my brothers and sisters!
It’s such a special feeling to hear your song being played on the radio.
I think there’s more to come from me as a musician, and I’ll be really disappointed if there isn’t.  If I want to be serious about progression then gigging is the next step, either on my own as acoustic sessions or with some other musicians.
At the moment my music balances perfectly with my job. I’m all for following your dreams, but I’m realistic about things too. There are a lot of steps to be taken before I’d even have to think about having to choose between one thing or the other.
For now, I’m just looking forward to the release of my second single on Friday, it’s called ‘This is What We Came For’. People can find it on Spotify and iTunes.

In conversation with Mike Finnerty

Quickfire questions

If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I’d drop everything and travel around the world, staying in five-star hotels and travelling first class.

Favourite place in the world?
When I’m home in Clonbur, I love going for a drive down to Leenane. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I used to do Irish dancing when I was a kid.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
My brother cooked for us a few weeks ago and I’m still not sure what it was. He said it was a burger but I’m not so sure!

Describe yourself in three words?
Honest, funny, moody.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
The ability to just go out and play football every day.

What makes you angry?
Racism. And in particular the booing when players take the knee.

What makes you nervous?
I get nervous before going ‘live’ at work.

What three things are always in your fridge?
Coconut milk, brocolli and some type of fish.

What’s your favourite TV show?
I’m waiting for the latest season of ‘Better Call Saul’.
What’s your most prized possession? I bought a piano during lockdown and I find playing it very therapeutic.

What’s the best advice you ever got?
Back yourself. A colleague told me that years ago when I was starting off in journalism.

Describe yourself in three words?
Honest, funny, moody.