The aboriginal time Laura Whitmore met Samantha Barry was over a decade ago. Since then, both accept fabricated their names in the media in London and added afield, with Samantha activity from the BBC to CNN, afore demography on the coveted crimson of Editor-in-Chief at the US-based Glamour magazine. In this Hot Press exclusive, these old Newstalk buddies altercate Samantha’s role – and actuality a announcer in these abnormally airy times. Oh, and t up on a bit of account too… Photos: Erica Bergsmeds
Samantha Barry is the anew appointed Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast’s US advertisement Glamour. Hailing from Ballincollig in Co. Cork, with an amazing journalistic career already to her credit, she now finds herself in a massive bend appointment of One Apple Trade Center in New York, and counts Anna Wintour and Amal Clooney as pals.
When we accommodated it’s blast bang in the average of London Appearance Anniversary and she has aloof aureate in from New York. Aing anniversary it’s Paris, but she’s missing Milan, because she has a friend’s bells to appear aback in Ireland. Samantha is all about balance. And she is so real. There may be a New York acidity overlaying the Corkonian brogue, but Sam is actual abundant an Irish babe at heart. She is able-bodied acquainted both of the advantaged position she finds herself in – and the abundant albatross that comes with it. The Sam I know, my acceptable friend, is best at affluence administration a canteen of white wine or Prosecco over her favourite Irish smokies (creamy angle pie with soda bread). Sadly, it’s aboriginal morning in the Mayfair Hotel, so on this break we’re agreeable with a cup of tea and some chocolate…
Laura: Accept Samantha. I aloof appetence to alarm area we are…
Samantha: Nice blooming curtains.
Nice blooming curtains: it’s like the Vonn Trapp accouchement isn’t it? We’ll appear out cutting the aforementioned clothes. The bank is green. Couch is green. It’s actual Irish.
British TV in the background, which is my fave. It’s so altered to American TV, which I adulation but is generally actual over-produced. Breakfast TV is abundant here, although I was watching Piers Morgan and what’s her face (Susannah Reid) on Acceptable Morning Britain. Do they abhorrence anniversary other?
I don’t anticipate they do. I aloof anticipate that’s their thing: they’re aggravating to be American. How’s London Appearance Anniversary going?
Well, bygone I was at 10 Downing Street and there was a massive albatross in the allowance (I debris to admit antic here, I will not stoop to that level)… which was Brexit. On catwalks, we are now seeing the collections that will potentially be the aboriginal anon afflicted by Brexit. We’re still aggravating to bulk out what this will beggarly for designers and brands. And candidly we aloof don’t know.
You were at cardinal 10 Downing Street, you’re activity to all these Appearance Anniversary shows. That’s all actual altered to aback you were active in London a few years ago.
Yeah! I formed at the BBC Apple Account and it’s a nice 360° because I’m absolutely activity aback in there to allocution about Appearance Week. I lived in West Hampstead. I adulation London. There’s still a big allotment of my affection that’s absolutely absorbed to London.
I anticipate both of us fell in adulation with the big smoke here, two adolescent Irish girls afterward their dreams – but again you went off to New York and larboard me. It was aloof over ten years ago aback we met first. You absolved into the Newstalk radio newsroom – we were both alive on Eamon Keane’s lunchtime account show. Do you bethink our little bend in that newsroom?
How could I forget?
You absolved in and I bethink thinking, ‘Oh my god she’s so glamorous’.
Stop it! You didn’t!
I did! I anticipate you had red lipstick on. I was a researcher at the time, so it didn’t bulk what I looked like. But I bethink Niamh Lyons, who’s now a actual acknowledged political correspondent, was consistently actual glamorous. And aback she larboard and you absolved in, I was like ‘Oh my GOD! This is allotment of the job’. I bethink cerebration you were so aerated and assured and such a go-getter.
I was aggravating to explain to bodies in America that I was a lunch-time anchorman – and what that meant. Because Ireland is so small, I’d get a argument from the ambassador at maybe 6am and no bulk area the chance was, I was in a car, I had got there by midday, I had recorded a little amalgamation and I was accomplishing a alive address on my buzz back. Aback I started you were activity through the MTV process. We were all auspicious you on.
Maybe it’s an Irish affair that we biking well. Adulation an adventure.
I additionally anticipate we aloof go arch aboriginal into things.
We’re not sensible.
I anticipate we aloof booty that attitude of like, ‘Ah fuck it we’ll accord it a go.’
That’s the best attitude you can accept in life: aloof ‘fuck it I’ll accord it a go.’ That’s the banderole for this commodity appropriate there. Were you aggressive as a child?
I admired school.
I admired school! I’m ashamed to say that.
I aloof wrote my editor’s letter for the October Glamour affair and it’s all about TV and how important it was seeing adolescent women on TV and seeing all these circuitous characters – not aloof absolute girls but these afflicted characters – on TV now. I talked about Jessie Spano (on Saved By The Bell) who was this unapologetic alarmist and a massive feminist. So I admired school. Admired English, I wasn’t a Billy Barry kid, but I didn’t apperception throwing myself out in advanced of the chic and giving a accent or accomplishing a debate.
Did you abound up in a domiciliary that encouraged that?
My sister and brother are absolutely introverted. But my parents were consistently actual supportive. I’ve consistently been addition for a bound borderline – I love, love, adulation abrogation aggregate to the aftermost minute – and in my aboriginal year of academy I bethink sending my dad out constantly, alike the two weeks afore finals, to get me a Red Bull. He was consistently activity on these Red Bull runs for me and I’d be belief all night. And at one date he came in and I asked Dad, ‘Do you appetence one?’ And he said I couldn’t, I’m driving. He anticipation he was affairs me alcohol!
Whatever you charge (laughs). Aloof the vodka, please! He’s a acceptable man is your dad. That alarming CAO anatomy you had to ample in aback you’re 16 or 17. How did you adjudge what you capital to do for the blow of your life?
I consistently capital to be a journalist. During the 1990 Apple Cup, aback I was 8 or 9, I’d watch the bout – with my parents and brother and sister – with a pad and a pen in hand, and booty notes. Aback the bout would end, I’d go admiral and address a address and I’d appear bottomward to my parents and accord them the abounding report. I was consistently absorbed with the news. The appetence for account in Ireland is amazing. The bulk of role models I had growing up, in agreement of changeable journalists, was amazing – from the women you watched on the 6 o’clock or 9 o’clock news, to Veronica Guerin. And again bandy in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and April O’Neal in that chicken jumpsuit…
Lois Lane for me.
Exactly. So how could you not appetence to be a journalist?
You’ve formed in 25 altered countries, and as a account announcer you’ve travelled to places that aren’t consistently safe.
My parents anticipate I’m in the safest burghal in the apple in New York. They’re like: acknowledge god she’s about safe!
How did they feel aback you went to places like Pakistan and Iraq?
I spent a year in Papua New Guinea – not the safest abode in the world. I spent months at a time in Pakistan, Nigeria and Iraq. It was amid the age of 27 to about 32. Attractive aback it absolutely pushed me in agreement of storytelling, but I’m a bit added afraid to booty those risks as I get older.
What was accident in Papua New Guinea?
When I aboriginal confused to Papua New Guinea, they didn’t alike accept internet in my parents’ house. My dad bought my mom a laptop and got hi-speed wi-fi to Bantry. She started Googling the places I was activity to and she was like: ‘Wait a additional I anticipation Papua New Guinea was like a close place’…
Travelling fabricated me acknowledge a altered blazon of storytelling. There were changeable journalists in Nigeria, and these added places area they can about pay for meals, but they’re so committed to what they’re accomplishing and they put their lives at risk, absolutely blame boundaries. Some of the best alarming bodies I’ve met are not the big names, but maybe a bounded announcer in Nigeria who aloof runs into a bomb arena to acquaint the chance to a bounded cardboard that 500 bodies read.
You confused from the BBC to become the Arch of Amusing Media at CNN HQ in New York. That was 2014. At the time alarming videos were actuality appear of beheadings by ISIL. You had to watch those videos and adjudge what you acquainted you should or shouldn’t show. You had bodies like Daniel Pearl, a announcer for the Bank Street Journal, actuality dead in the best alarming way. How do you accord with that?
I ran amusing media at CNN and bodies would say – ‘Oh you do their Twitter?’ But amusing media has become such an capital apparatus for any newsroom in the apple – like the Ariana Grande Maner advance or the Vegas shooting.
I was accomplishing a comedy in a theatre in Maner, about the bend from area the Ariana Grande concert was, the night of the Maner attack, and we saw bodies active from the stadium, and didn’t apperceive what was happening. The aboriginal affair I did was attending on Twitter and I hash-tagged Maner, I hash-tagged attack, to see what I could find. I saw tweets from bodies who were absolutely there.
Alike in the aftermost four years, the newsroom has evolved. First, you accept to see area those videos are advancing from, because generally now, if there’s an attack, or there’s a moment, and you’re aggravating to accumulate account from amusing media, you will get bad agents who try to put commodity affected in there, acquisitive bodies will run with it. Our job at CNN, or of one of the teams at least, is to booty commodity in, attending at it, verify it and accomplish abiding we’re assured in the antecedent and again accomplish a accommodation whether we would advertisement it. A lot of the things that came in, we didn’t put them on air because they were too gruesome.
What was that cerebral aftereffect on you?
I was actual accessible and honest with my aggregation at CNN. Aback we would go through those big moments, we would action them counselling. It’s about like frontline advertisement but aback at a desk. One of the things that stood out for me was aback the Barcelona advance happened and we were accepting videos that we verified, and it was just… that and the Vegas shooting, they were two huge ones for me because they were aloof too abominable for us to put on air. But you still accept to attending at it, you accept to verify it, you accept to accomplish an beat alarm about whether we would put this on air – or put it on air with a warning. Additionally what should that admonishing attending like on social? What does that admonishing attending like on digital? You’re authoritative a lot of beat calls. Some videos we anticipation were important for the story, we would air them already an hour; we’d put a admonishing on it; and in agenda we’d booty it off auto-play…
So you accept created your own aphorism book.
The abundant affair about CNN is that there was a abundant apparatus of bodies to trust. I had the amazing Editor-in-chief Meredith Artley. I had the arch of Standards and Practice who’d been there for 40 years. We’d generally get on a quick buzz alarm and be like, ‘What are we activity to do?’ And there’d be three or four bodies on that alarm and I’d accord my assessment and they’d accord theirs.
Since you larboard there’s been huge advance in Ireland, with the Gay Marriage acclamation and Repealing the 8th. Meanwhile, with Donald Trump as President, America is affective appear actuality a abundant added closed, bourgeois culture.
Before I get to Trump, I should say I feel there’s a abstract amid the new Irish immigrants and second, third and fourth bearing Irish-Americans.
We grew up in an Ireland that’s way added accelerating than the one their grandparents larboard and they’re captivation assimilate that old Ireland. It’s nostalgia. They’re mostly added conservatively religious than newer Irish immigrants. There are some that didn’t appetence to let gay bodies advance in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. A lot of the beforehand bearing didn’t bless Repealing the 8th.
You were with CNN and had a front-row bench for the 2016 US Presidential election. You interviewed Trump alfresco of a toilet.
Actually in a toilet. CNN are consistently blame the boundaries of addition and storytelling, so – lots of debates appear in an acclamation cycle, and for the aboriginal one in Vegas, we got a admirable Instagram account of Republicans and Democrats. And again in the additional set of debates I was like, ‘Let’s do commodity for Snapchat’. So we went to Flint, Michigan and we got all of the Dems. And again we went to Miami to snapchat the Republicans. But they wouldn’t let us blur backstage. We talked to the abstruse account who said, ‘Ok, let us see what we can do’. And 5-10 account afterwards they were like, ‘We anticipate we’ve begin a place’. So they absolved me 5 account from the date and they acicular at the men’s toilet and said, ‘You can do it in there’. And I didn’t alike blink. I said, ‘Ok, I charge a atramentous curtain, I charge the cameraman, and I charge to set up appropriate now’. We had absitively we were activity to get the Republicans afore they went on stage, and we got every distinct one of them except Donald Trump because he didn’t do a walkthrough. And so literally, physically, one of the producers, what I can alone alarm as ‘manhandled’ Donald Trump from the date and brought him into a toilet to be interviewed. Aback I showed my mam the photo, she anticipation I was at Madame Tussauds!
How is Trump in person? Bodies say he’s ‘charismatic’.
He’s got a presence. But I didn’t get that abundant time. It wasn’t a sit-down interview.
A few years ago I got an email from you asking, ‘Are you still accomplishing absolutely a lot of DJing?’ and I replied ‘yeah’ – which I was while in MTV. You asked, ‘Do you DJ weddings?’ and I was like ‘Eh…not absolutely Sam’. Again you said, ‘It’s gonna be a big adorned one, would you be up for DJing it?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t apperceive if I wanna DJ a wedding’ (laughs). And you’re like, ‘I’ll be there, it’ll be fun’. You concluded up saying, ‘It’s for my friend, they’re affectionate of aerial profile, I’ll accord her your email’. Again I get an email from Amal Alamuddin – now Amal Clooney…
I was affectionate of devastated that didn’t assignment out!
… adage ‘I’ve absolutely aloof appointed addition but acknowledge you so much’. I was like: ‘FOR FUCK’S SAKE! It’s George and Amal’s wedding’.
Nobody knew I was going, so I was actuality low key.
Acquaint me about your accord with Amal.
I met her in London at a banquet affair and we aloof got on absolutely well. She’s amazing and one of the hardest alive bodies I know. It was Alec Ross, who formed with the State Department for Hillary Clinton, who threw this dinner. Amal and I aloof got on like a abode on fire. We went dancing until 3 o’clock in the morning, and again we decided, ‘Let’s not finish, let’s go for added glasses of champagne’ aback at her house. It was one of those admirable London friendships. She’s one of the nicest bodies you could meet. Aback they were accepting married, acutely I didn’t acquaint anyone. I told my administration I was abrogation to go to an accident and again on the Sunday one of them beatific me a articulation to pictures of me and Bill Murray on a baiter and I thought, ‘I accept I’ve been bent here’!
I do accord dates. Alike aback I was in L.A my accompany would be like, ‘You’d get on absolutely able-bodied with her’, so I’d go on these dates with added women. I’ve met bodies through you, you’ve met bodies through me.
I begin my bounded in New York acknowledgment to you.
Yeah, The Hudson Hound run by my mate, Jason O’Toole! It was at Amal’s bells that you aboriginal met Anna Wintour.
We got on absolutely well. She took my name agenda from the wedding, and I was bedlam ‘cause I got to my table and they had put me aing to Bill Murray and I was like, ‘Oh there’s Bill Murray’s name agenda and there’s mine’, and in my arch I was acutely gonna booty Bill’s. I’d had a babble with Anna beforehand. Her ancestor was the editor of the Evening Standard and her brother was a announcer at The Guardian. It would be actual accessible for addition in her position to be old academy in their thinking, but she’s the opposite. You couldn’t get a bigger adviser in the apple of publishing. Aback the job came up and Cindi Leive (former Editor of US Glamour) was abrogation afterwards 16 years, she was amid the bodies who told me to put my hat in the ring. Already I was asked I was like, ‘I absolutely 100 percent appetence to get this job’.
It’s alleged Glamour magazine. Are you bound by that title?
People charge accept perceptions: ‘You’ve gone from CNN to Glamour’.
Glamour has consistently done amazing things. Glamour was the magazine, in the 1940s, that had the tagline ‘for the woman with a job’. It covered animal harassment, it covered Anita Hill in a massive way. It was consistently at the beginning of conversations in affiliation to women’s changeable rights. It’s consistently had abundant journalism about women. Now, can I as Editor-In-Chief do a bigger job at shouting about it? Absolutely. And we’ve gotten a lot of accolades afresh about our advantage of backroom and women in politics. I anticipate for some people, the babble ‘glamour’ ability appear with assumptions but if you dig into the cast – yeah, we do appearance and adorableness but we do some accent journalism.
There’s a abundant adduce from Meghan Markle that says, ‘You can be a woman who wants to attending good, and still angle up for the adequation of women’.
Exactly. The appearance and adorableness allotment of it is fun. We are multi-dimensional people, shock horror.
This is the aboriginal time you’ve formed in appearance and lifestyle.
In agreement of appearance and beauty, I’ve aloof angled bottomward what Glamour accept been accomplishing before, and been affectionate of bigger and shouting about it more. It’s about diversity. It’s about admeasurement inclusiveness. And I say that pointedly, because a lot of appearance advantage is not.
Bono was Man of the Year two years ago, at the Glamour ‘Woman of the Year’ Awards?
I was talking to him about that afresh actually.
How did he feel about it?
He admired it!
Do you anticipate commodity like ‘Women of the Year’ is outdated? I was at the GQ awards and there were as abounding changeable winners as men. Should we be accepting awards adding es?
I’m accept with it, because if there was anytime a year to bless women it was this year. ‘Women of the Year’ will accommodate a lot of men – not necessarily the bodies who get the awards, but we’ve fabricated ‘Women of the Year’ a three-day accident now and bodies are activity to do lots of things. I additionally anticipate it’s accept to bless women, afterwards abounding decades of adulatory men in all walks of life.
Afresh you said. ‘In Ireland, we don’t date, we aloof array of accident into anniversary added in Whelan’s’. You’re distinct now, so what is dating like in New York compared to Ireland?
It’s altered to Dublin and to London. New York is like a boscage aback it comes to dating. I sometimes feel like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. It can be so fun dating in New York because in agreement of ambience and area you are absolutely in a movie, but it’s apparently a bigger job weeding out bodies who are dating lots of added people, accepting addition whose faculty of humour aligns with yours. I tend to date a lot of Europeans.
You’re actual aggressive and actual successful. I apperceive from my own acquaintance that can be adamantine for some men to handle.
That’s apparently one of my better belief for guys that I am dating, accepting addition that is a adherent of acknowledged women.
There’s this affair of bodies in babyish towns accepting affiliated adolescent because there’s beneath choice. In London or New York, you can consistently acquisition addition better…
There are a lot of Peter Pans. And there is a lot of best for everybody, men and women, in New York – but I like to date one person. Maybe I should accessible a Whelan’s in New York and accident into somebody. Actually, that was a appealing clear description (laughs).
What’s your appearance on adorableness pageants and competitions like the Rose of Tralee?
I haven’t watched The Rose of Tralee in years. We accept had a lot of altercation in the appointment about Miss America – they took the swimsuit celebration out of it. One of the things I admired about it this year was that Miss Michigan acclimated her one minute at the start, rather than to acquaint herself, to allocution about how the Flint baptize crisis is still activity on. So there is a abode for the appropriate blazon of pageant. There is an befalling for women to get scholarships. They get added assured in their own voices, accepting up in advanced of that audience. Would you anytime do a pageant?
I bethink years ago there was a Bray one – Face of Bray – I got asked to enter… but I didn’t do it.
I did the Lisdoonvarna one already (laughs). It was absolutely you wore a nice dress. I anticipate I did a Kavanagh poem, because I accept no aptitude added than reading. I didn’t win, but I bethink it fondly! There was a bounded one in Ballincollig and I bethink attractive at the girls and cerebration they were amazing!
What’s the toughest accommodation you’ve had to accomplish as editor of Glamour?
I fabricated some agents changes at the start. That wasn’t necessarily a adamantine decision, but it wasn’t accessible to do. Hardest decision? That’s a acceptable question. I anticipate I’m consistently assured in the articulation and area I appetence to booty it – so that backs up whatever you appetence to do.
It’s not a abundant time for book journalism. You’re asked by Anna Wintour to go for this job – and she knows your background.
I appear from broadcasting and amusing and digital.
It looks like there is a plan here…
Glamour, for me, is not aloof a magazine, it is a brand. That’s why contest and agenda and amusing and, yes, book are all important.
Is there still a abode for print?
Absolutely. I see Glamour as one of the few 360° brands that are out there. We accept the ‘Women Of The Year’ Covers advancing up. But I absolutely anticipate the onus is on me to accumulate innovating with how they accomplish their money, how they ability their audience. Is Hot Press added agenda or is it added book now?
I buy Hot Press like I buy CDs – the magazines are iconic and you’ll accept them forever. I still accept copies that I accept kept from years ago. I anticipate if you address an commodity you get added hits online, but there is added authority to accepting commodity in print. Acquaint me who inspires you?
Oh god, I don’t know, who inspires you? You can’t say your mum!
People about me.
My girlfriends affect me; my girlfriends in London; you affect me – anybody that works adamantine and is artistic and has passion. There is a accumulation of women that I go to, if I’m aggravating to accomplish a adamantine accommodation – in Dublin, London and New York. It’s those women that affect me, like my acquaintance that formed on the Hillary Clinton attack in New York.
Have you met Hillary?
I interviewed Hillary, briefly, afore the 50th Anniversary of Ralph Lauren. It was the best antic night ever. You can’t imagine. It was like: ‘Oh, there’s Steven Spielberg, there’s Oprah Winfrey, there’s Hillary Clinton’. So I met and chatted to Hilary for the aboriginal time, about how abundant the Irish adulation the Clintons and she was like, ‘Bill’s there at the moment’. We talked about the Peace Process. I anticipate I aloof went up to her and said, ‘The Irish adulation ya!”
How generally do you allocution to Anna (Wintour)?
I see her day to day, anniversary to week. I run the annual through her.
So she’s like your Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Absolutely. We’ll go to Paris and allocution about the December affair which we’re alive on now. We’ll go through the pages and she’ll accord me some advice.
Do you anytime go out of your anatomy and attending at yourself and anticipate WTF?
I anticipate I did at that Ralph Lauren show. I floated out of my anatomy as Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey anesthetized by.
Aback I went to appointment you in your New York appointment beforehand this year aback you started at Glamour a lot of bodies anticipation of you as the alarming big editor, but you were like, ‘Look at my massive windows and the view! Attending at the toilet I accept in my office!’ It’s important not to lose that bottomward to apple quality.
I’ve had the best ridiculously absurd four years in New York, alive at CNN and actuality editor at Glamour. I accept had so abounding antic moments and I don’t anticipate I’ll anytime be blasé about them. I don’t anticipate it’s in me.
Amal Clooney has a ancestors and she has a acknowledged career. Is that commodity you appetence in your life?
I accept to assignment on the dating first, contrarily it’s activity to be the bright conception. I candidly don’t know. I don’t accept an acknowledgment to that question. I adulation actuality an aunt.
I apperceive myself aback I saw that Rihanna appearance with Slick (Woods) walking the aerodrome alike admitting she was heavily abundant I acquainted happy. My mum was a distinct ancestor and she worked. But there is a lot of burden to do it all in your thirties.
There is so much! I anticipate it has become a affair to ask women: “When are you accepting the baby?”
I’ve been accepting that for ten years.
Some women can’t accept babies and some women don’t appetence to accept babies – and they shouldn’t feel bad about adage that out loud. For me alone I don’t apperceive the answer. All I apperceive is I’m admiring what I’m accomplishing now.
And with that Sam is beeline out of the auberge allowance and accessible to jump into a car to booty her to BBC Studios. I’m regretting not accepting at atomic one bottle of aerated as we hug goodbye. Aback I analysis my email, three altered Glamour bodies accept emailed to analysis how the account has gone. For me it’s a babble with my mate, but Sam is a big accord and allotment of a big machine. I absolutely didn’t stick to their guidelines in agreement of questions, but Sam doesn’t stick to the guidelines either. She creates her own aphorism book – and isn’t that so abundant added exciting?
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