Q&A with Amy Irons on BBC Scotland's Hogmanay
Amy is best known for presenting sport on The Nine and entertainment news on The Edit. She’ll bring live action from Stonehaven’s historic Fireballs Festival on Hogmanay 2019.
You’re presenting from Stonehaven’s Fireballs Festival - are you looking forward to it?
I’m so excited because I’ve never been before and I’ve heard there’s such a brilliant community spirit and a great atmosphere with all the crowds and the pipe band. It will be an amazing spectacle and I’m really looking forward to help bring a flavour of that into people’s living rooms.
So you’ll be getting the party started… but maybe won’t need glam party gear for this particular one?
Definitely not. It’ll be freezing so all I need is a nice coat and a scarf and I’ll be set. I’m literally the coldest person on the planet, so I’ll need to make sure I’m well prepared to be out on the streets of Aberdeenshire at the end of December. I’ll have all the layers - tights, thermal layers, woolly socks, and a hot water bottle and handwarmers too. As long as my face doesn’t say “I’m freezing”, I’ll be fine.
Looking forward to working with Susan and Des?
Totally, although I’m under a lot of pressure working with two very funny comedians. I think they’ll help everyone bring in the New Year with a smile on their faces which, let’s face it, we could do with this year after all the serious news we’ve had. It’ll be a little light relief for everyone.
What are your happiest memories from Hogmanays gone past when you were younger?
My gran and grandad always had really good family parties in Stirling. We’d do party games and my grandad and all the men in the family would say poems and sing songs, it was just such a lovely family occasion that we all looked forward to. There would easily be 30 or 40 people in the house. All the neighbours would come in and at midnight we’d go out first-footing.
Favourite thing about the festive season?
Getting together with family and friends for Hogmanay is always something I look forward to and we’d always have the BBC Scotland countdown on in the background. So it will be strange to be on the telly this year instead of watching it. It’s a real honour because I grew up watching the Hogmanay show on BBC Scotland. I remember one year being away with some friends at a Highland lodge and the TV signal was really poor. It wasn’t Hogmanay without the BBC Scotland countdown so we were all delighted when someone managed to get a signal on their phone and there were about 20 of us all gathered round this tiny screen to see in the Bells.
If you could choose anyone from any period in history to be guest of honour at your Hogmanay party, who would it be?
It would have to be Julie Andrews. She’s my hero and The Sound of Music is my favourite film. She would make any good party great and I’d love to sit down and hear some of her life stories, preferably told through song! The ideal Hogmanay though is just down to spending it with the right people - everyone together with no phones, loads of music, and party games. You can’t beat a good Scottish house party.
When you’ve thawed out from Stonehaven, what are your plans for January 1st?
I’ll be at my Auntie’s in Stirling for steak pie. It’s an epic occasion when every bit of furniture from inside and outside is brought in to accommodate everyone at one huge make-shift table – there’s garden chairs, wallpaper pasting tables, all sorts. It’s just a brilliant day when really the celebration from the night before just continues on. I really can’t wait for Hogmanay this year. It’s the biggest occasion of the year on TV in Scotland and I just feel incredibly lucky getting to share it with people from around the country.