Last Summer, Longford woman Maura Higgins caused quite a stir on reality-TV show, Love Island. Wearing eye-catching outfits and dropping noteworthy catchphrases, the 29-year-old won viewers over with her no-nonsense attitude and, eh, frank advice.

As it turns out, she didn't lick it off a stone.

Maura's mother, Sharon Higgins, is as honest and charming as her daughter - and has big plans to dole out her special brand of advice on RTÉ Player's new show Agony OAPs.

Sharon will be joined by five fellow sassy seniors; Pat Spillane, Mary O'Rourke, Frank Twomey, Gray Cahill, and Matt Dodd - all of whom will appear on tonight's Late Late Valentine's Special to give some guidance to Ireland's singletons.

We caught up with Sharon to discuss the show, her famous daughter, and how she managed to parent four children at the young age of 23. 

"They were like steps on the stairs," Sharon laughs, describing her early years of parenting. "I had three in nappies at one time. I kind of grew up with them so I knew the tricks of teenagers - sure I was a teenager myself - they wouldn't pull the wool over my eyes."

Now aged 50 (the baby of the OAPs), Sharon says she loved being a young mum because she found it easier to form friendships with her children, cementing her place as the problem solver in the family.

"It's great because when they get to their teenage years, you build a great friendship because you're young with them," she insists. "If you have a real strict parent, you're going to clam up and you're going to be afraid." 

"It's good to be open with your children so they don't feel afraid to tell you anything," she continued. "I'm the one they come to. The way I would give advice is that I would sit and listen to the problem, then I tell them what I would do in the situation but I tell them that it's up to them."

"I never judge them," she adds. "They could tell me absolutely anything."

Far from letting the kids go wild, Sharon says she used her close bond with her children to set healthy boundaries, something that she says was essential during their teenage years.

"I did have boundaries with them. When they became teenagers, I had to work with them because if you don't work with them you work against them. The more you try and stop children doing things, the more they rebel," she said.

Speaking of her outspoken daughter, who she had just two days after her 21st birthday, Sharon says Maura has been a big support to her while filming the show.

"Maura is the type of girl that wears her heart on her sleeve. She is very, very thoughtful. You might think from watching her on Love Island that she's so outgoing and boisterous, but she's a softie underneath." 

"We always have each other's backs," she adds. "I'd always encourage her and give her my support and she would be the same with me."

Raising a big family at a young age is no mean feat, and it takes a lot to rattle Sharon. However, the Longford woman insists that being on camera was a nervewracking experience and, for a while at least, she wasn't sure if the show was for her.

"I was humming and hawing about it for ages. I couldn't understand what they wanted with me, I'm just an average everyday mammy. But then I thought, 'why not me?', I'd be the first person to encourage someone to go for something so I decided to challenge myself and do it.

"The first day was very challenging because I wasn't used to it and I didn't know what to expect - I was shaking like a flat-pack wardrobe, I was a nervous wreck.

"Once the first day was over though, I was much more relaxed because I got to know all the others and they were so lovely and great fun to be around."

As for tonight's Late Late Valentine's Special? Well, she says she'll probably be "shaking like a flat pack wardrobe all over again" but is excited to bring a bit of light relief to Irish audiences.

"It's always lighthearted. Nowadays people should laugh and smile more and enjoy a bit of life, no matter what. There's too much gloom in the country and in the world. You can't beat an aul belly laugh and having a bit of fun. It gives people a little bit of a boost."

Watch The Late Late Valentine's Special tonight on RTÉ One at 9:35pm. 

Watch Agony OAPs on RTÉ Player now.