RTEs western reporter Teresa Mannion is coming to terms with turning into a global superstar since her performance on the six o’clock news last Saturday evening. Her theatrics while reporting in wet and windy conditions from the Salthill prom immediately lit up social media and the attention has not abated since.
Speaking to the Galway Advertiser while working at a Road Safety Authority, ceremony in Dublin, the reporter said she was just glad that the bulleten had resulted in a more intense focus on road safety. “The RSA could not buy this type of publicity. I have kids coming up to me here all day looking for selfies, and singing ‘don’t make unnecessary journeys!’ If one thing comes out of this, I hope people become more conscious of driving in inclement weather.”
Teresa says she looks back on the report and has a good laugh about it. “I’m not precious at all, I laugh at it. I am loving all the videos and remixes that have been done since but the supercéilí one is my favourite. People are so creative now they come up with these things, it is great to see it, it’s all a bit of fun. The amount of attention it has got has been crazy. It reminds me a little of when I first started out in broadcasting, I worked as a kids TV presenter and I used to get a bit more attention. Now after 25 years in news journalism, I am much more used to reporting on the story as opposed to being the story.”
Since the weekend, Teresa has been interviewed constantly on radio, and in newspapers. Her story was even picked up by CNN and yesterday (Wednesday ), American actress and singer Ariana Grande is seen on her Snapchat account watching a video of the news report and imitating it with one of her dancers afterwards. The reporter is taking all the attention in her stride. “My phone has not stopped vibrating, it has been crazy. Apparently the dance remix video has been viewed by 3 million people. I’m a bit punch drunk from it all to be honest, its just been a whirlwind. I have now been asked to do the Late Late on Friday. My life has been on hold since the weekend.”
It is certainly a stand-out moment in her career. “It was such a challenging report. The rain was teaming down and the wind was howling. I could barely hear the newsfeed coming from Dublin, I was holding my headpiece so it would not fall out. It was so dramatic because I was struggling with the elements but trying to concentrate on what I was saying. The wind and rain were so loud, I did not realise I was shouting into the camera. It was only when my phone started to vibrate shortly after the news I realised what it had looked like.”
She was the experience has opened her eyes to the impact of social media. “My twitter following has gone up by 5,000 and it is still rising, I usually only use Twitter for work but this week I have begun to realise the power of the machine. My Twitter feed has gone insane - and it is all about me! I usually give out to my teenagers for having their head stuck in their phones, now I am the one on it constantly. It takes over your life in a way.”