As part of the SHEmazing! Rising Star series, we speak to some seriously inspiring go-getters.
Here, iRadio’s Eleanor Fitzgerald joins us for an intimate chat about working on movie sets, her plans for the future… and how modelling led her to radio.
Broadcasters usually fit into one of two moulds: those who were trained to do it, and those who were born to do it.
iRadio’s Eleanor Fitzgerald, or Fitzy, as she’s better known to her listeners, certainly has a seat in the latter category.
And yet the road to her chosen career was hardly conventional: when she won the title of Miss Limerick in 2006, she was interviewed on Limerick’s Live 95fm. Such was her ease at being on air that studio bosses quickly asked her to fill in at the station – and she hasn’t left since.
“When we were kids, myself, my sister and our neighbour would play a little game where we would present our own radio show!” Eleanor laughs now as she recalls the memory. “That aside, I think I always wanted to be involved in radio and TV.
“When I was in secondary school, I did some work experience with my cousin who is an award-winning costume designer for film and TV. At the time, she was working on the set of Fergus’s Wedding, so she brought me along as an assistant.
“I loved makeup, so I was thinking how great it would be to work in the makeup and costume department. When I got to the set though, I loved everything about it. Whether it was the action taking place in front of the camera or behind it, I was hooked.”
The 30-year-old credits her modelling career (she is on the books of the Celia Holman Lee agency in Limerick, and Andrea Roche in Dublin) with giving her a confidence boost, but ultimately the one thing Eleanor has in spades is bags of talent, not to mention enthusiasm and persistence.
“I love media, but I especially love radio” she explains. “The Cracked i show has been so much fun because we get to talk about so many different topics and we have also interviewed some really interesting people.
“There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. We do all the research and prep ourselves, so even though we are having the craic on air, trust me, hours of work go on behind the scenes. I have always loved both sides of it. I love being on air, but I love the background work as well.”
When it comes to future plans, Eleanor is happy to leave things to fate.
“Oh God, I asked a few girls this same question when I was interviewing them on stage for Miss Limerick recently, and now that I’m being asked about it myself, I haven’t a clue what to say!” she laughs.
“I don’t have a game plan for the future. I’m very happy at the moment, so I haven’t really thought too far ahead to be honest! I take every opportunity that I get, and try to be as grateful as I can for everything I have.
“My motto is simple, what’s for you won’t pass you.”
You can listen to Ed and Fitzy on iRadio’s Cracked i, Monday to Friday, 8.50pm – 12midnight