The ‘showbiz journalist’ is editor of Local Women Magazine. She talked to OT at the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards last year
22 January 2017
How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?
I have three pairs of glasses and so many sunglasses, I can't even count them. I leave my sunglasses all over the place, so I never buy expensive ones. Mind you, I live in Northern Ireland so sunglasses aren't essential – it never stops raining.
Can you describe your first pair of spectacles?
I'm showing my age here because they were National Health classics. I started wearing glasses in Year 1, so aged five I went to the opticians with my mum to choose my first pair.
The year would have been 1979 and the choice was very limited. The National Health provided pink frames for girls, blue frames that were sort of unisex and brown frames that were for boys. There may have been a paid-for option but that wasn't an option for us, it was National Health all the way.
I chose the pink ones, a very watery shade of pale pink, complete with spring clips round the ears to hold them in place because my nose was small – oh and a patch. Let's not forget the patch. No pirates and fairies’ patches back them – it was grubby white tape over one lens. God love me, I looked a sight.
Do you have a favourite pair?
I love my new Cath Kidston frames. I'm also a fan of Red or Dead frames, and I loved Specsavers’ Gok Wan frames when he designed them. I love chunky, dark frames. I think glasses should look like glasses.
"Eye care has changed so much in my life. When I began wearing glasses it was all very basic, these days it is more like a health check. They check for all kinds of conditions and the whole process is much more enjoyable"
Who would you pick as your eyewear style icon and why?
If anyone thinks glasses are for geeks, take a look at Eva Mendes in her specs. She looks so amazing.
Do you wear contact lenses and why?
I've never tried them. I like my glasses.
What challenges does your eyewear have to overcome?
My poor glasses don't get treated very well. I never put them in a box and rarely clean them. People look at me and wonder how I can see out of them sometimes.
What prompted you to go for an eye examination?
I was very young when I started wearing glasses so it was the school nurse who spotted that I needed them. I got a note sent home from school aged five and that was the start of me wearing glasses. In my teens I stopped wearing them for a while, but now I love my glasses again.
Has wearing spectacles changed your outlook on eye care?
Eye care has changed so much in my life. When I began wearing glasses it was all very basic, these days it is more like a health check when you go to the opticians. They check for all kinds of conditions and the whole process is much more enjoyable. It's so important to keep getting checked.