Paper Prophet - Frances Black

By Shane Ross
From Sunday Independent

What car do you drive and do you still have a no claims bonus?
I drive a 1996 Mercedes and I love it. I still have my full no-claims bonus.

What was your first job and salary?
Waitressing in the Harcourt Hotel. I earned about 10 pounds per week as I was still at school, so I didn’t work that many hours.

At what times do you start and finish work?
If I’m on tour, my day starts very early, as I normally do a lot of travelling, and it ends between 12.30 and 2.00 a.m.

Do you conduct any business online?
Yes, because I have a good friend in Holland, Mark van Setten, who runs my website www.frances-black.net. I keep in touch with him, and try to e-mail my fans as much as possible. I also send out regular newsletters telling them what I’ve been up to.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance?
Ben Dunne. I love the way he came back after a major set back and started again, and became really successful in business. That takes courage and strength.

Do you have a will?

What are your favourite TV and radio programs? [Excluding the news]
I love comedy programmes like Naked Camera and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’m a big fan of the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM, and I used to love Ciaran Mac Mathuna’s radio programme on Sunday mornings, but that’s finished now.

What type of credit card do you have and do you ever borrow on it?
TSB VISA. I borrow on it all the time, even though I know it would be probably be cheaper to go to a money-lender :-)

Are you ever overdrawn or always in credit?
A bit of both really, because of the business I’m in. Sometimes I have money, and sometimes I’m looking for it!

Today would you invest in property, shares, cash or other?

Do you know exactly how much you are worth?
Haven’t a clue.

What is your investment tip of the year?
Buy property!

Favourite restaurant
My two favourite restaurants are Mario’s in Terenure, and Taj Tandoori in Dunboyne. Amazing grub!!

Where do you holiday?
I holiday in two places. One is Rathlin Island off the north coast of Antrim, which is where my father came from. The other is Lanzarote, and I go there when I’m looking for a bit of sun.

Greatest sporting moment
Definitely in Giant’s Stadium in New York in 1994, when Ireland beat Italy in the World Cup. It was an amazing experience.

Do you belong to any clubs?
I’m a member of the Carlisle Fitness Club at the KCR.

Which businessman/woman do you most admire?
Again, I’d say Ben Dunne. I also think that Dolly Parton is a fantastic businesswoman, as is Oprah Winfrey.

Do you have a computer at your desk?
No, I don’t have a desk!! But I use the laptop for e-mail and to write my college assignments.

What’s your business ambition?
I never really thought of having a business ambition, but I suppose I’d love to have another Number 1 album.

How did you do in the Leaving Cert?
I didn’t do my Leaving Cert. I left school after the Inter Cert. and I scraped through that. I was never very good at school, and that’s why going back part-time to college to do addiction counselling is a huge challenge for me. I have to work hard, but I’m loving it.

How long is left to pay on your mortgage? [If any time]
I don’t have a mortgage.

What type of SSIA do you have?
A deposit one. I have you Shane to thank for having any SSIA, as I took it out at the very last minute after listening to your advice on a radio show one afternoon. Thanks for that.

Which gets more of your time – work life or family life?
Family always comes number 1 for me. If it’s a choice between family and work, family always wins.

Best moment in business
I suppose having a Number 1 Album was one of the highlights of my career, but I’ve had some other special moments as well.

What is your salary?
a) €20-50k
b) €50-100k
c) €100-200k
d) €250k+

I don’t actually have a salary, but my earnings vary from year to year.

What football team do you support?
Templeogue Synge Street Gaelic Football, as my two nephews play on the Intermediate team, and I try to go to their games. And, of course, the Dubs.

Who makes the decisions in your house? You or your partner/spouse?
We both make decisions in our house.

• Frances Black will be releasing her folk compilation double album, This Love Will Carry, on February 3rd. She will be performing at the Olympia Theatre on January 29th, followed by a 20 date nationwide tour. See www.frances-black.net for details.