Sinead Harrington chats with Rose of Tralee and Today presenter Dáithí Ó Sé about life in lockdown.

The pandemic has brought changes to everyone's lives and while some people have had to slow down, this is not the case for RTÉ presenter Dáithí O Sé. 

The lockdown has seen an increase in viewership and extension of the popular series Today with Maura and Dáithí, meaning the Kerry man is as busy as ever. Not one to shy away from work, the 44-year-old has also hosted a new fitness series called Ray and Ó Sé Fitness 15. 

Ever the professional, Daíthí's quick wit and fun-loving nature mean he’s a hit with viewers and has been credited for bringing a fresh approach to every show he works on.

I caught up with the charming presenter to see how he is getting on in 2020. 

Where are you based now and who are you with?
I'm living in Galway with my wife Rita and son Ógie and I travel to Cork every day to work. I feel very grateful that Rita can take such good care of Ógie and I get plenty of quality time with him when I'm off as well.

How are you coping with this new way of life? How have things changed for you?
It's taken a while but we are into a new routine and trying to be as positive as possible. Myself and Rita are focused on getting through this and making sure that we keep safe.

I feel really lucky that I've been able to continue to work during the pandemic. As well as getting an extension for the Today show I've also been hosting a new fitness series with Ray Lally called Ray and O'Sé.

With Today, we've had to take a different approach with a lot of content and come up with inventive ways of interviewing people. It's been a learning curve and as always it's a team effort and I work with a brilliant team.

What is the one thing you do to help get through a difficult day?
The one thing I think is very important is mental health. It's is a hugely stressful time for everyone. I'm working so I still have my routine in place but it doesn't mean that this isn't tough or hasn't taken its toll.

But I know that there are others who have it much worse. I recently did video messages for those who are cocooning to cheer them up and enjoyed reaching out to people all over the country. 

Who is the first person you'll meet when the restrictions are lifted and what will you do?
Most definitely my mother. I can't wait to go to Kerry and see all the family. It's hard being away from everyone for this length of time. But I know that these testing times will be worth it in the long run.

What is the first restaurant you’ll go to and what will you order? 
I’ll have to take a trip to McDonalds! I’m looking forward to tucking into a Big Mac Meal with a coffee. 

Is there anything that you’ve learned or become aware about yourself because of this experience?
I've learned to slow down a bit more. I'm on the road during the week, but the weekends have been much calmer and has given Rita, Ógie and I plenty of quality time together. Family has always been number one for me and I think this experience highlighted it even more.