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Gavin James is known for his love of Whelan's, his stunning voice which produces banger after banger, and his ability to make friends with pretty much anyone.

The singer-songwriter, who has achieved massive chart success at home and abroad with tunes such as Always, Glow and Nervous, from his breakthrough album Bitter Pill back in 2015.

We sat down for a chat with the man himself, who is the new ambassador for the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign, to chat to him about his "f*cking hilarious" father, his home away from home and his favourite celebrities, among other (random) things.


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James has been known for his love and support for charities, especially Down's Syndrome Ireland, so it's not surprising that he's choosing a generous movement like Cadbury Secret Santa to represent this Christmas.

A Dairy Milk gift can be sent anywhere in Ireland for free, either anonymously or personalised, to someone you love. Frankly, that's adorable. After posting the very first Secret Santa gift of the campaign, Gavin speaks about what drew him to Cadbury.

"I have always loved the Secret Santa ritual; the excitement of sending a gift in secret and the anticipation of receiving a gift anonymously – it’s so much fun! My dad is also essentially Santa." After pointing his dad out to me, I had to agree. He was merry with a white beard.

The artist brings his family and friends with him to gigs any chance he gets: “Its good to be able to bring them away with me. Every time I have a gig in Ireland my entire family goes, I brought my dad to a photoshoot today, which is f*cking hilarious.”

Asking him about his early days of gigging in tiny pubs, and dedicated to his then-rock band, he describes why he transitioned into acoustic songwriting, despite still having an intense love for his electric guitar.

"I started off with my mates in Temple Bar, my hair was huge. I was also trying to sing high but I couldn’t sing falsetto when I was younger, I had a raspy voice back then and couldn’t pronounce the letter 's'.I never try to transition, genres just kind of come on their own, I think."

We're glad he found his niche, his musical talent started for him at a very young age, surrounded by musical talent within his own family. His latest album, Only Ticket Home, hit number one in Ireland and has already surpassed a million streams.

He describes his latest offering as a dedication to the art of "simplicity", with most of the songs only having four chords. 

"They're not trying to be smart. There was one song that didn’t make the album because I tried to record it and it just didn’t turn out right. It was the best song I’ve written in a long time, but it sounded too far away from the right sound of the album. I have it in my back pocket for next year though. I found loads of songs in the cloud, I was chuffed."

"There was like 40 but 33 of them were shit. I usually have 100 ideas but one works. The first idea is always the best song. It’s like a buffet, the first thing you look at is always what you want.”


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James has toured with some absolutely huge names in music, among them are Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, Sam Smith and Kodaline, to name a few. With all this talent around him, we have to ask which artists have impressed him the most.

"Bands like Vulfpeck are absolutely insane, they’re so good at playing stuff that I absolutely cannot understand. It’s insane, like Stevie Wonder-esque.”

“Foy Vance sang songs next to me, and his voice starts low and aggressively builds up and I don’t even know how he exists. He’s insane.”“When it comes to Secret Santa gifts, Gavin's already done his bit for fellow musicians… and their skin, apparently. "Sam Smith. I gave him aloe vera before, he loved that. He’s a really nice guy.”


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We're sure Sam would say the same about Gavin, but is there anyone in the industry who he has been disillusioned by, who maybe brushed him off? It's a notoriously tough industry, which requires a thick skin for survival. IT seems James has a level-headed approach to the whole 'fame' thing.

"There are people I don’t want to meet purely because it would ruin how I feel about them, people I totally idolise, sometimes they’re just not in the mood and you don't want to annoy them. Everybody I’ve ever met has been really friendly to me though, but if someone isn’t being nice to me, I’ll tell them. I don’t mind saying that to people. It’s easier to be nice."

"I couldn't meet Ryan Adams because I love him so much, and Bruce Springsteen. He’s meant to be the nicest man in the world. I’d love to meet him but I’d be bricking it. I’d probably just say “thank you, Bruce, for all of these songs.”

"When it comes to growing Irish talent, I love David Keenan. He’s class. His lyrics are amazing. He has a song called Laurence of Arcadia with lyrics like;

“You're looking at the last know bar stool prophet to retire early from the trade, I'm going fishing for pearls of wisdom. I'll be dancing through the pissing rain. You're welcome to join me you annoyance, for I find you quite amusing all the same." It's amazing."

Irish artists have repeatedly found success abroad, yet the UK and US markets are infamously hard to break into. Why have some Irish artists such as U2, The Script, Hozier and now Dermot Kennedy made it big over there, and some slip through the cracks?

“The UK is a tough market. It’s a weird one, like the Netherlands kicked off for me because they love a sad song, and I'm good at those. I brought out a Live at Whelans track, and was told it would reach top of the Dutch charts by Christmas. I didn't believe it, because it was a live recording. Then it went number one in the Netherlands, but no one would think of a live recording doing that.”


A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

His second album, Only Ticket Home, is still distinctly within the style of his debut, and James makes sure that his roots can come across in his lyrics. When he's in Dublin, he loves chilling with his friends in the pub, living out a normal life despite his new-found fame.

Where are his favourite parts of Dublin, and if he had to move, where would he find himself?

“Whelan’s, but I spend most of my time in Temple Bar, even though it’s seven euros a pint.” *shivers*

"Where Doran’s used to be, my mate Robbie owns a little snug next to it, an Irish pub. I always go there because it seems like a little secret spot where I’d just have a pint with my mates.”

“I’ve never been to Coppers. I tried to get in years ago, I think they were closing up. They must have a quota of guys named Gavin or gingers, so I couldn’t get in.” (Can you BELIEVE this Dubliner hasn't stepped foot in the notorious nightclub? We are shook)

“I went on one night out to Nashville to see Ron Pope, and ended up staying there a week.”

“I’d definitely move to Nashville. Very random, it’s musical but it reminds me of Dublin in a lot of ways. I have a lot of friends there, I made a lot of friends there very quickly. It’s cheap too, it’s not f*cking mad, it’s not like Los Angeles. I’m not into L.A. How the hell do people get around there?”

Sounds like this lad has his head screwed on right, that's for sure.

We got two hugs out of him and a Cadbury Secret Santa letter, so we are officially his number one fans.

Only Ticket Home is out now, grab your tickets to see him live in 2019 here.

Don't forget to become a Cadbury Secret Santa and give a little something extra this Christmas- visit www.cadbury.ie/secretsanta and follow all the action on the Cadbury Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages.


The trailer for Netflix's latest female-led series has landed and we are already obsessed. 

Inspired by a short-lived show from the 80's, GLOW follows the life of out-of-work actor, Ruth Wilder, played by Alison Brie, who has been thrust into the bizarre world of women's wrestling. 

About to give up on her dream, Ruth hears of an audition hoping to find "unconventional women", and decides to give stardom one last try. 

The actress, and 12 other Hollywood misfits, land parts as the 'Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling'  and if the trailer is anything to go by, it leads to some hilarious results. 

The series is produced by Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann. 

GLOW premieres on Netflix June 23. 

It's an 80's nostalgia, girl-powered extravaganza and we can not wait binge-watch. 




The word ‘summer’ conjures up images of beautiful beaches, warm sunshine and glowing tans, but unfortunately us Irish are denied all three by our unpredictable weather and pasty complexions.

But not to worry – Catrice Cosmetics’ latest collection is packed full of golden tones and catwalk-inspired hues to help us look that bit warmer than we feel.

Since their Spring Summer ’16 range starts at under a fiver and is available in pharmacies and Penneys throughout the country, there’s no excuse to be left feeling pasty this summer.

Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer – €4.95:

This light-reflecting primer contains just the right amount of soft shimmer to brighten up the skin without making it look shiny.  Its innovative formula contains the ultra-hydrating Vitamin E to help keep skin moisturised.  And because it sets with a fresh dewy finish it can be worn with foundation or all on its own.

Sun Glow Mineral Bronzing Powder – €5.50:

This baked bronzing powder is perfect for adding warmth to fair complexions and just like the primer it also contains fine light reflecting particles.  The easy-blend formula can be brushed lightly onto the cheeks for a healthy summer glow or applied more precisely to help sculpt the face for a more glamorous look.

Liquid Metal Eyeshadow – €4.50:

Catrices’ Liquid Metal Eyeshadow range is highly pigmented, long lasting and boasts a unique 3D embossed effect.  Shades ‘Gold n Roses’ and ‘Satina Van Der Wooden’ can be used to add shimmer to any summer look.

Long Lasting Eye Pencil Waterproof – €2.60:

For a more striking metallic look, this new gold eyeliner would be your product of choice.  Its highly pigmented formula and smooth texture allow for accurate application, while its waterproof status means it is perfect for pool-side beauty.

Ultimate Nail Laquer – €2.95:

No golden goddess look would be complete without metallic-toned nails and Catrices’ Ultimate Nail Lacquer Collection has the perfect shade for just that.  Try ‘Go For Gold’ for a deep metallic finish, or pick one of ten shades from the Luxury Nudes (€3.30) set for a softer more shimmery finish.

Catrice Cosmetics are available at Penneys and in pharmacies nationwide.


Having only confirmed her pregnancy a month ago, it seems Sam Faiers won't be stopping anytime soon. 

The soon-to-be mum has been promoting the latest of her cosmetics from her burgeoning beauty empire – and looks smoking hot in a new campaign. 

Sam, who already has an eye lash range and two fragrances, has now unveiled a new tan line, called Glow



A photo posted by Sam Faiers (@samanthafaiers1) on


The former TOWIE star said she wanted her tan to stand out from the rest and has designed her product with rose gold packaging, which she says is "perfect for any beauty lover's bathroom."

The reality star has certainly sky rocketed her career since leaving the show behind. As well as launching a fitness site, Sam has also been busy shooting her latest fashion collection for Very's Christmas campaign. 

And if that wasn't enough, she has also only been getting to grips with her new pregnancy. 

"Maternity jeans are a godsend… They're comfy and thanks to the elasticated waist, I am wearing mine everyday."


Our summer days are well behind us and with that the weather is changing for the worse.

*Cue crying*

We know it's hard to adjust from being a tanned, golden goddess to a pale and pasty woman, so here, we have rounded up the best bronzers to keep your summer glow going all through autumn.

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

This bronzer should definitely be a staple in any girls make up bag. It builds from a light to dark coverage so you can choose how tanned you want to look. It comes complete with a soft, natural bristle brush for easy application.


SEVENTEEN Instant Glow Bronzing Powder

Achieve that sun kissed glow in an instant with the SEVENTEEN Instant Glow Bronzing powder. This one is also buildable to give you the coverage you deem necessary. It's perfect for contouring and even has a slight shimmer which is perfect for nights out.


Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Bronzing Powder

Elizabeth Arden's bronzer is infused with natural minerals and contain light-reflective mica and skin-softening silica to assure a natural luminous look. It also contains aloe vera and chamomile to nourish your skin. It comes with its own brush for a simple application.



This bronzer is a bit on the pricey side but works miracles for giving you that just-home-from-holidays look. It offers two original Dior shades which combine colour and radiant tones with natural skin shades to give you the perfect sun-kissed colour.


Natural Collection Suntint Bronzing Powder

And if you spent all your money during the summer, fear not because this bronzer is a beauty bargain! For us milk-toned Irish, the colour Sunkissed is perfect for giving you a natural sun-tanned look. The golden flush of colour to your face will make you look like you've been in sunny Spain all week long.



Ella's new song 'Glow' will be released on September 12th. The new single is taken from Ella’s debut album Chapter One’ which is released on 19 September.