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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sandra Mallon

Carl Mullan eyes up Late Late Show gig amid hopes Dancing With The Stars win opens up career opportunities

Dancing With The Stars winner Carl Mullan has said he hopes winning the show will lead to bigger and better things – as he eyes up The Late Late Show.

Carl and his pro dance partner Emily Barker were crowned this year’s winners, lifting the glitterball trophy on Sunday night after 11 intense weeks.

Speaking afterwards, Carl said winning the show has given him a confidence boost in his own career.

READ MORE: Dancing With The Stars champ Carl Mullan warns of fake social media profile targeting followers

He told us: “One of the things that I really learned from this was I didn’t realise I suffered from imposter syndrome. Things happened very quickly for you.

“I’ve been working in 2FM for nine years now. The first time I went on air was in 2014, I had been working in digital radio a few years before that.

“It was a long journey to get to the breakfast show and I think things really kicked off for me during lockdown and I suppose lockdown gave me the space to be a bit more creative..

“Then the breakfast show came along, and it has been such a whirlwind since then.

“Other opportunities came up – I presented Takeaway Titans last year, then this and I think it has really taught me that because things did happen so fast, a lot of the time, I would be the one standing at the back of the room saying I’m going to be found out.

“The tricks your brain plays on you. But yeah, this definitely has given me a bit more of a boast of confidence to probably trust myself and to back myself.

“I would love if this is a good platform for me to drive on from here and to go for other opportunities.”

Broadcaster Carl Mullan and dance partner Emily Barker during Dancing With The Stars series 6 after being crowned the winners (Kyran O’Brien)

Asked if he would love to present The Late Late Show after Ryan Tubridy steps down on May 26, he said hosting the Friday night chat show would be “anyone’s dream gig.”

He said: “Wow, yeah! The Late Late Show would be anybody’s dream gig.

“I think we were all shocked at the news that Ryan Tubridy was leaving. He has been an incredible ambassador in that role and what he has done. He has really set the mark for whoever goes in there next. If the opportunity came up I wouldn’t say no, but I think I’m too in the infancy of my career to go for a job like that. That’s the truth of it. There are a lot of very qualified people who can do that job. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it.”

RTE’s Director General Dee Forbes attended the final of the RTE One show on Sunday night – but Carl said he hasn’t expressed interest yet in hosting the chat show.

The father-of-one said: “I was too busy learning contemporary ballroom to express any interest. I’ve a lot more experience to gain to do justice to a job like that.”

The Dubliner admitted he almost fainted when he found out he and Emily had won Dancing With The Stars.

“I thought I was going to faint on national TV. This has been the most incredible experience to go through. I came from nothing; I did a knee spin in a school play in fourth year and that’s as much dance experience as I had.

“I’m honestly so happy for Emily, she did six seasons, and this was her third final. From day one, she said we could get all the way. I was close to having panic attacks learning the dances and my head dropped. She kept picking me back up, without her I would have either been kicked out or I would have quit.

“In the contemporary ballroom in the final, I was trying to hold in the emotion but it came out in the end.

“The whole reason I said “yes” to this was because I’ve never regretted throwing myself out of my comfort zone. I nearly said “no” to doing the show and it was my wife Ais who said, ‘You watch it every day, what an opportunity.’”

Carl Mullan and his pro partner Emily Barker (Carl Mullan Instagram)

But he admitted he knew he wasn’t the best dancer in the competition.

“I know I wasn’t technically the best dancer in this competition. I know that. This competition is about where you come from and where you start from. I started from absolute zero.

“The contemporary ballroom in the final was a real highlight for me because it showcased how far I’ve come. It had elements of everything we learned over the last few weeks.

“When I stood out there for the final everyone was so good. I had to block out the thoughts of winning and, truthfully, I would have been buzzing if anyone else won.”

Carl responded to Twitter comments who said Damian McGinty or Brooke Scullion should’ve won instead.

“I would be the first to say they’re incredible dancers and they were technically better than me for a lot of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I was really happy with how I performed and there were weeks where we were as good as anyone in the competition.

“I’m talking myself down here, but I’ll absolutely acknowledge how great they were. Brooke, Damian and Suzanne were the first to congratulate us and we’ve made great friendships along the way.

“With a show like this, you get invested in people and what they’ve done. I’m sure there are people who are disappointed that the other guys didn’t win. Similarly, there would have been people who were disappointed if we didn’t win.”

But he denied that having a platform on 2FM helped him win the show – and said the show’s co-host Doireann Garrihy remained professional throughout.

“I don’t know if it gives you an advantage. If it gave you an advantage I don’t think you would be doing 10 hours of rehearsals every single day. I didn’t go into this thinking about winning, I just wanted to give the best performance possible. You don’t want to go on TV and make a show of yourself. We worked so hard.

“Doireann had to play things very differently. Obviously, I see her every day at work so the relationship we had in the radio studio had to be very different to the relationship we had on Dancing with the Stars.

“We nearly had to build a bit of a barrier between the two of us because she had to be the one interviewing me whether things went wrong or right. She had to treat me the exact same as everyone else.

“For me, if she saw I was nervous she might give me a nod from across the room. She was delighted for me and she gave me a big hug at the end. I’m very lucky to work with great people like Doireann and Donncha O’Callaghan.

“They were mainly a support on the days where I went into the studio exhausted. They probably had to pick up a bit more slack some days when my brain wasn’t as switched on as it should have been.”

Donncha reacted to Carl’s win on 2FM Breakfast on Monday morning.

“It is very hard to be objective, but we got the result in the end. Joy and love won.

“It was fantastic. You were incredible. It was like the nation just said, let’s get behind the beautiful boy and Carl won.

“Your dancing was incredible. Well done you!”

He also praised his radio co-host Doireann Garrihy for her presenting skills on the Sunday night hit dancing show.

He said: “You were unbelievable. In rugby what you look for is consistency in effort. Yourself and Jennifer Zamparelli were flawless every Sunday night.

“Getting the nation to see your effort – that was amazing. Mother’s Day was special, my mother was over and all of us in our house, we were watching the final.”

But Donncha hit out at the RTE dance show’s judges. He said: “When it didn’t matter, they were dishing out 10s in their scores.

“It felt like your mate at a free bar – a 10 for everyone.”

Donncha reckons his 2FM co-host should be a judge on next year’s Dancing with the Stars. He said: “Of course Carl should be on the judging panel for next year.”

He added: “The show should be narrowed down to an hour long, with less of the fluff.”


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