Dungannon broadcaster Lynette Fay was still in a state of shock this morning, Friday, after winning a prestigious Irish Film and Television Academy award (IFTA) at a glittering ceremony in Dublin last night.
Lynette, whose career as a television and radio personality has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, was genuinely modest when she spoke to the TIMES and told how she was delighted just to receive a nomination with FleadhTV in the Best Live Event category.
“Everyone on our table just thought it was amazing to even be nominated and to be honest, no one even imagined we would actually win, but it has been just great”, the Dungannon woman said.
“It is lovely to know that your peers respect you in what you do and we were all happy just to be nominated.
“We honestly thought, given the fact the Marriage Referendum bill came into force on the same day as the awards were being held, that the Marriage Referendum programme would win.
“None of us expected it would be us so when we saw the TV cameras heading towards our table it was like a domino effect with each of us saying, ‘Oh my God! We’ve actually won this!’
“The whole lot of us went up on stage to accept the award, there must have been about 20 of us.”
Lynette, who was one of the presenting team with the hugely successful FleadhTV on Irish language station TG4 in August, dazzled on the awards red carpet in a stunning dress by her cousin and former Dungannon designer, Shauna Fay.
The popular broadcaster, who is a familiar voice on BBC Radio Ulster and an avid follower of GAA, joked that she was delighted to “bring another All Ireland back to Tyrone!”
Lynette joined the biggest names in Ireland’s TV industry for the inaugural IFTA Gala Television Awards on Thursday night.
Mrs Brown’s Boys creator, Brendan O’Carroll, picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy, while ‘Red Rock’ was the big winner as TV3’s Irish-made soap scooped three gongs.
O’Carroll, who turned 60 a couple of weeks ago, said he still feels 25 and reckons the best is still to come from Mrs Brown after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd as he picked up his gong.
He told the assembled celebrtities and industry representatives: “The rest of the world wouldn’t be aware, they think we just popped up. But everybody in the Academy and everybody in this country is aware how long it took us to get where we are and what went into it.
“And for someone to say: ‘You know what? Well done’ means a lot to us.
“This business is a very tough business and it is all about opinions - one man’s gold is another man’s trash but there is an audience for everyone and having the perseverance to get up every day and go again and go again - sometimes you have to stop looking for your audience - sometimes you have to just keep doing what you are doing and your audience will find you.”
The awards were hosted by presenter and former model Amanda Byram, who stole the show in a wedding dress by London designer Elizabeth Stuart, while other famous faces at the event included broadcasters Miriam O’Callaghan and Joe Duffy, not to mention Ronan and Storm Keating, as well as musician and producer Imelda May.