Why Simon Delaney is the variety of fashion. From Raheny on the Northside of Dublin to Hollywood, leading Irish TV presenter and film actor and director, Simon Delay has been charming audiences globally with his great humour and Irish wit on screen now for over 20 years!
From his early days of first appearing in RTE’s hit TV series, Batchelors Walk to appearing along some of the leading actors and actresses in the world today including, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Coogan, Robbie Coltrane and Chris O’Dowd to name a few.
Simon will also be familiar to you weekend lovers of TV breakfast on TV3 where he alongside co-presenter, Anna Daily presents Weekend AM.
But there is another side to Simon that some of you may not be aware of. The 49-year-old Dubliner is also patron to the Irish arm of the international Children’s Charity, Variety Ireland who have just relaunched in Ireland.
Simon may not be a fashion icon to many people out there but what he lacks in fashion style he makes up in abundance with his humour, humility and a big heart in helping children in Ireland today!
Fashion.ie caught up with Simon to find out more about his take on fashion styles and also his amazing work with Variety Ireland-The Children’s Charity.
Simon, is your fashion look important to you?
How do I answer this seriously when the clothes I’m wearing now is similar to that of a builder ready for work (no offense to any builders out there)
The answer to that has to be no as I’m in a job where my wardrobe is prepared for me. Whatever job I’m doing whether it’s on TV or on a film set, my clothes are picked out for me so I’m quite lucky!
Do you remember the first piece of fashion you ever bought?
I had a thing when I was teenager where I was into leather jackets. I would work like a dog every year to try and save a few quid that allowed me to go out and buy a new leather jacket. My late father used to bring me into a great clothing market in Meath Street in Dublin where there were all these dodgy stalls that used to sell all different types of clothing.
I remember paying £200 pounds at the time to buy this tan leather jacket and I’d say there was as much leather in it than there is in the cover of my wallet.
This was back in the middle eighties and I would wear it to school thinking I was the bee’s knees. That was the style of the day and lots of lads my age were into the same fashion. Great times!
Do you like clothes shopping?
No, I can’t abide it. I think I’m like most men where if I want to buy something I have it in my own head first what I want to get and go in to the store, pick it off the rails and buy it without trying it on (I’m a disaster)
I have a think about changing rooms and I just don’t like them and I drive the missus mad when I have to go shopping with her as all I want to do is get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.
Do you buy your own clothing?
Yeah, I like shopping online as it’s so easy. When you have four kids like we do it’s so much easier to pick out what you want buy than crowding the boys into the car and walking around shopping centres or stores without any of them kicking off.
The choice is also a lot better, but boys are so much easier to dress than girls. I believe so for me, shopping on-line is an easier experience.
I don’t know if my wife would agree with me though as she loves browsing in different stores because of the “try before you buy” experience.
Are you a fashion hoarder who hangs onto their wardrobe line-up or do you have a regular clean out?
Yeah, I kinda am to be honest. I get given a lot of different types of clothing from various companies and I hate throwing things out. It drives the missus mad with all my clothes clogging up the wardrobe space.
I found one of those old leather jackets the other day that I had when I was younger and although it’s in bits I won’t bin it. I hate waste!
Have you ever had a fashion fail?
Oh yes lots! I made my West End stage debut in London doing a play called “Stones In His Pockets” It was a two man show and we were on stage for 2 hours each night. During one performance, the arse of my trousers split leaving nothing to the imagination and I couldn’t do a costume change and had to do the whole show with everything on show.
20 years ago, I had to dress as a “Pot Noodle” and walk up and down Grafton Street which was mortifying but when you are an actor you have to be prepared for these types of things!
What is your most favourite piece of clothing and why?
I have a blue blazer jacket with a pinstripe running through it that I got about 10 years ago from the wonderful Louis Copeland. I’ve worn it to hundreds of events and its one of those jackets you can wear to any event.
Ok, it’s gone out of fashion but I love it and who knows one day it may come back into style and I’ll be ready!
Who is the coolest best dressed Irish celebrity you know and why?
I’m going to offend someone with this answer as I work with really stylish women on Ireland AM including Laura Woods and Anna Daly who are always immaculately dressed. I suppose away from work colleagues it would have to be Jennifer Zamparelli. She always looks cool and is a funny to go with it so yep I’d say Jenny.
What are your favourite clothing stores to shop in? are there any labels you love?
I used to love “Jack Jones” but their stuff doesn’t fit me anymore. Dunnes, Marks & Spencer and Tesco do great stuff for men my size and of course, Louis Copeland. You can’t go wrong with Louis Copeland!
What’s the worst fashion item you have bought and why?
God there are so many to be honest! I did buy a jacket back in my teen years when I was starting to do discos.
You had to be over 18 to get into discos back then and I was only 16. At the time I was going out with a girl whose mother worked as a sacristan in our local church and she managed to get me a blank baptismal certificate which I forged to get an over 18 ID for myself.
I was a mad new romantic and was into Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran. I bought this white corduroy jacket and it was a double-breasted yoke! I thought it was cool back in the day and styled myself on the Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet look LOL. Now when I look back at old photos, I often think to myself, what were you thinking!
As an actor and TV presenter, what is the strangest piece of clothing you have asked to dress in?
This has to be a film I did called “Zonad.” It was about an alcoholic pretending to be an alien living in the west of Ireland. It’s one of the funniest movies I have ever done!
Anyway, I had to dress up in a bright red latex jumpsuit which was similar to the one that Britney Spears used to wear. They were only designed for women, so I don’t think I have to explain the logistical nightmare of being a man in a women’s costume.
I had to wear this every day for 8 weeks and it took two costume girls to help me get into this bloody suit everyday with the help of lots of baby oil. It was filmed in a village down in Avoca where they used to film Ballykissangel.
Locals didn’t know what the hell was going on when I used to walk down the road while filming in this costume. They probably thought we were filming some type of porn film. It was a great laugh and anyone reading this should check out this film!
If you could be dress like another celebrity for the day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to do a full David Beckham and wear a sarong. He’s a very well-dressed guy who always looks immaculate on and off camera and looks the part. No wonder the ladies love him!
In your opinion, who is the best male celebrity today?
I think the actor; Robbie Downey Jr is looking good at them moment. He always wears suits to film premiers and the guy knows how to mix fashion styles to bring out his best look! A cool dude!I
In your opinion, who is the best female celebrity today?
I think my co-host Anna Daly rocks her style every weekend on our breakfast show, she puts a lot of work into her style, and it pays off. I also think Irish actress Caroline Morahan looks amazing, such a stylish lady, and a lovely lady too
Do you think the today’s fashion is better than when you were growing up?
The fashion styles back then were shocking! My uniform for dressing up for the clubs in the 80’s was typically grey drainpipe trousers, white shirt and jacket which to complete the look included black velvet loafers and white socks!
How we ever managed to get girls is still a mystery to me. Even the women used to dress in big shoulder pad dresses that you would see on TV programs like Dallas and Dynasty which looking back now I suppose was unique in their day but probably wouldn’t be acceptable to any modern girl of today!
Who is the best dressed person on Ireland AM and why?
All the ladies in Ireland AM dress really well and are all into their fashion looks. Deric Hartigan continues to dazzle with his style too, and of course Alan Hughes is a fashion icon, at least that’s what he told me to say!!??
What’s the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given and by whom?
“Take that white jacket I used to wear back in the 80’s and burn it” Seriously thought I suppose the soundest piece of fashion advice I remember getting was from Irish suit designer, Louis Copeland. I like wearing three-piece suits and Louis fitted me out for my very first tailored suit.
He told to always leave the bottom button of my waist coat open as otherwise it pinches the waistcoat. I’ve watched celebrities over the years since Louis told me this and I’ve noticed that all the big celebrities always leave theirs open. Great tip that always stayed with me!
Tell us about your work with Variety Ireland and your involvement with them?
I’ve been involved with Variety now for a number of years. Like most charities In Ireland over the years, they have under gone some big changes and I’m glad to say that this year Variety have reinvented themselves and are now continuing to help and assist special needs children and their families right across Ireland.
One of the main things I love about Variety is that it’s run by a team of professional volunteers who dedicate their time and resources, free of charge to the charity and do this for absolutely nothing!
This ensures that all money raised through past and future events goes directly to helping the children who need it! A few months ago, I was the Compère at the “Blossom Tree Ball” which was organised by Pippa O’Connor and her husband, Brian Ormond.
All profits and donations on the night went directly to Variety Ireland. Through their generosity and donations made by people on the night, a substantial amount of money was raised, all of this going directly to helping children and families who need help, a big thank you and well done both to Brian and Pippa!
This year is a new start for Variety Ireland and one of the new initiatives we are doing is a thing called “The Heart of Learning” campaign. This is aimed at raising money so we can buy and supply IPads for Special Needs Assistants in primary schools across the whole of Ireland.
We are looking for people to donate what they can in order to help us to provide a single IPad to SNA’s that will help with daily development to children with learning disabilities.
Every cent raised from this campaign goes on purchasing IPads and this can be done simply because Variety Ireland has no paid employees, nor do they provide expenses to the people who run or work with the charity. How’s about that for accountability and transparency.
This is just one of the many reasons why I love and am very proud to work with such a wonderful charity that has been in existence in Ireland since 1951.
I would urge any individual or company, looking to work, donate to helping children with special needs or disabilities to get in contact with Variety Ireland and their dedicated team of volunteers. They are a special charity and the one closest to my heart.
Why Simon Delaney is the variety of fashion