Weekend Q&A: Veronica Cunningham, director of The Chronicles of Belfast
Veronica Cunningham (44) is a series producer at Waddell Media and director of The Chronicles of Belfast
HOW DO YOU UNWIND AT THE WEEKEND?
Weekends are defined by the rugby season. My husband Bryn works at Ulster Rugby and the tone is set by the Friday night results. My son Blake (13) is in the Ski Flyers team, my daughter Tilly (10) is on the Ulster tennis squad. I'm not sporty at all and act as Mum-taxi. We live down by the beach in Helen's Bay and I unwind by walking our big dopey red setter, Kite, by the sea. The water's soothing, except when I'm hauling him out of muddy patches.
WHAT DO YOU RECALL MOST ABOUT WEEKENDS GROWING UP?
I was born in Hong Kong where my father Tim was manager for Guinness. We came back when I was a toddler but I have old photos of me in junk boats. My mother, Norma, was head at my prep school, Penrhyn. Although she was one of the 'fun' teachers, she was much stricter with me than anyone else. But not at home. I remember everyone gathering round for my mother's Sunday roast. I live three doors away and she still offers to do a roast. Her chicken is amazing. Sadly my father passed on when I was 18 and those memories of all of us together – I have two sisters and a brother - are so important.
DO YOU HAVE A MUST-WATCH TV SHOW OR NETFLIX?
I do watch my own shows. With a glass of wine... But you can't beat Attenborough's Green Planet and its message about the climate. I like seeing how it's done as Chronicles involves two cameramen (one of whom waited eight hours for a kingfisher in action) and myself. I like the nooks and crannies we've found, also people like Aaron Kelly from Ballymurphy in west Belfast. All his mates are into boxing, he loves wildlife.
IS THERE A MUST-LISTEN WEEKEND RADIO SHOW OR PODCAST?
It's Vogue Williams's My Therapist Ghosted Me - unfettered girly talk with belly laughs. Vogue Williams and co-presenter Joanne McNally are Instagrammable.
IS SUNDAY STILL SPECIAL?
I think Sunday will always be special. We went to Sunday school but I wouldn't be particularly religious although I have values and believe in God. The kids call it the chill day and might be out on their paddle boards.
HAVE YOU A FAVOURITE EATERY OR IS IT A TAKEAWAY?
Noble, a great restaurant which started doing three-course takeaway meals you cook at home during lockdown. I'm a truly awful cook so it was a godsend. You get instructions including when to sprinkle the salt on. And it's local produce.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ON SUNDAY ABOUT MONDAY MORNING?
I still have nightmares about revising for school exams. But when Monday comes I feel enthusiastic as I love my job.
The Chronicles of Belfast airs on BBC One on Monday at 8pm and on iPlayer.