Dancing with the Stars... the highlight of my career

A woman from Killeagh is working as producer on RTÉ’S Dancing With The Stars. COLETTE SHERIDAN talks to Louise Hynes ahead of the show’s grand finale this weekend — about chasing her dream career, hanging out with Nicky Byrne in the celebrity box, and why she prefers being behind the camera
Dancing with the Stars... the highlight of my career
Aoibhín Garrihy and Vitali Kozmin who take part in the final of RTE's Dancing with the Stars this weekend. Picture: Darren Kinsella

PRODUCER on Dancing With The Stars, Cork woman Louise Hynes is one of those people that always knew what she wanted to work at and pursued it with determination.

Reared in Killeagh in east Cork, Louise did an arts degree at UCC, majoring in English. Her second subject was computer science. She went on to complete a master’s degree in multi-media.

“I did my masters at UCC because I didn’t want to leave Cork to do communications in Dublin,” she said. “I chose the UCC masters because it had some TV modules. While doing it, I worked for UCC, filming lectures and editing. It was great for what I wanted to do.

“While doing my thesis, I applied to the BBC for work experience and was lucky enough to be accepted for a few weeks in London. I was in the interactive factual and learning department. The people there were really nice to me and treated me as a researcher.”

When Louise returned to Cork, she worked with Chorus, the local sports channel, for a year, and then got a job as a researcher in RTÉ Cork. While television is her chosen area, Louise never had any desire to be in front of the camera.

“I always knew I wanted to work in production. When you’re at producer level, you’re across editorial and when working in live TV, anything can happen. I got great training in RTÉ Cork where I worked for nine years. When I was a researcher there, I was allowed to sit in on edits which was a great foundation and fantastic training. It helped me to work my way up.”

Dayl Cronin and Ksenia Zsihotska who were voted off during the semi final of RTÉ's Dancing with the Stars. Photo by Darren Kinsella
Dayl Cronin and Ksenia Zsihotska who were voted off during the semi final of RTÉ's Dancing with the Stars. Photo by Darren Kinsella

Although her heart is in Cork, Louise wanted to work in the independent television sector and decided to move to Dublin. “I’d be lying if I said I don’t love Dublin but I miss Cork and my family,” she said.

She comes to Cork about once a month with her husband but during the run of Dancing With the Stars, which comes to an end this Sunday, March 26, Louise has been too busy to return to Killeagh.

A freelance producer, with an interest in documentaries, science fiction and entertainment shows, SHE says there is enough work for her in Dublin.

“I’ve been very lucky since I moved up two years ago. I’ve worked on a lot of Shinawil (an independent television company which produces Dancing With The Stars) shows.

“As a freelancer, you have to work your way up. I would be ambitious. I’ve always wanted to do this and I jumped at every opportunity.”

Her parents have always encouraged her.

“As a freelancer, you don’t know where your next gig is going to be. When I did the BBC work experience, my parents paid for everything as I was working for free there. They were very supportive of my move to Dublin.”

Brainstorming is all part of Louise’s job.

“It’s a very creative industry and is great fun. There’s no such thing as a bad idea. Everybody’s ideas are heard.”

Other programmes that Louise has worked on included Home Of The Year, The Voice Of Ireland and Dragon’s Den. The highlight of her career has been working on Dancing With The Stars. “When I walked into the studio, I was blown away by the set. The set designers have done amazing work for the show.”

Asked if live TV is scary, Louise says: “Anything can happen. The production people are experienced but at the same time, you never know what might happen.”

Louise Hynes 
Louise Hynes 

Louise said she’s thoroughly enjoyed working on the series.

“I’ve been really lucky. Everyone has been so nice. I’ve worked with a number of different presenters over the years and I’ve never come across (big egos.)”

Louise says it’s a busy role working on the Sunday evening RTÉ show.

“I’m across the edit during the week which are the VTs (video transmissions) that go out, showing the performers in rehearsals. On Sundays, I work with Nicky Byrne in the celebrity box.

“On other shows, I’ve been the producer/director. As a producer, you direct editorial and content. As a director, it’s more about shots and visuals.”

Louise is married to Cork man, Brian Murphy, who works in IT. When the couple visit Cork, they tend to socialise with their families. Louise plans to take a month off once Dancing With The Stars ends. She hopes to go on holidays and says there are “a few things in the pipeline” she will pursue for further work

It’s all go for this determined producer who always knew what she wanted to work at when she grew up. Just don’t ask her to actually ‘be on the telly!’

The final of Dancing With The Stars airs on RTÉ One, Sunday, 6.30pm, featuring Aoibhin Garrihy, Denise McCormack and Aidan O’Mahony.

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