“The honesty will come at a price”: Jennifer Zamparelli opens up about future of her podcast

Jennifer Zamparelli pictured at the Platinum VIP Style Awards 2023 at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre in Golden Lane, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Jennifer Zamparelli is a busy woman.

From wrapping up the first season of her successful parenting podcast to entertaining the nation every midday to training her new puppy, she doesn’t have a second.

In fact, she’s just back from the launch of Jumpzone’s 10th birthday this week when VIP Magazine chat to her…

Jennifer Zamparelli pictured as she teamed up with Jump Zone Pic: Brian McEvoy

Hey Jennifer, how are you?

I’m good! Wrecked from jumping around on the trampolines all day! [Laughs]

Congratulations on your podcast, Jen & Lottie do…Parenting! How has the first season been?

It’s been a rollercoaster. It was actually quite difficult to get over the line because we had so many things thrown at us. We just really enjoyed doing it. It’s a space I’m new to, I was actually reluctant to get into the podcast world. It’s so saturated and highly competitive. We didn’t want to do it for the sake of doing it. When Lottie came to me with the idea of doing a parenting podcast, warts and all, no holds barred, I knew it was something we could definitely do and do it our way. I didn’t want to talk to experts, I wanted to talk about our experiences. One thing we get asked all the time is “How do you do it? You look a certain way and you do this job and you’re so busy. How do you do it all?” The fact of the matter is nobody is doing it all at any one time. We really wanted to create a space where people could feel seen and heard. We wanted it to be sympathetic and non-judgemental. There are loads of parenting podcasts out there but there is no nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty ones that show what parenting really is. There is stuff that they don’t tell you. There’s no handbook. Of course, the honesty will come at a price.

In what way?

I don’t know how long we can do it for. I have an eight-year-old now, it’s only going to be a matter of time before she tells me she doesn’t want me talking about her on my podcast. I’m getting away with it now. I can do this for a few more seasons, but I don’t know how long I can get away for.

She’ll be a teenager soon and that’s a whole other kettle of fish!

I’d love to do a podcast on teenagers because that is just a f**king minefield! There is very little out there, probably for that reason, in regards teenagers. I heard recently that Dara Ó Briain uses these empty threats against his daughter like going on Strictly Come Dancing. He was asked and he turned it down. So now he says, “If you don’t behave I’m going to go on that show and embarrass you.” I think that’s why there are no podcasts where parents talk about their teenagers. The teenagers would be too embarrassed for their parents to talk about them. I need Florence to sign some kind of NDA. So when she’s older I can talk about anything! [Laughs]

Jennifer Zamparelli Pic: Lili Forberg for VIP Magazine

It must be lovely to hear that people are loving your podcast. And that it’s a source of comfort for parents.

I always had sisters so I had help. But Lottie was the first one in her family to have a kid. Her mam was a help but parenting changes so rapidly. Feeding, for example, the thing to do in the eighties was to bottle-fed now it’s breast is best. You get so many different things. It’s hard to navigate. And you need other people to chat to about this.

But we can expect season two?

We’re excited about doing season two and we’re going to sit down soon to plan everything. We can’t believe we got to number one and the amount of listeners that we did. It’s so freeing and it’s been lovely to just chat.

You have a radio show, a podcast, you run a hair salon, you have two kids and a new puppy. Where do you find the time?

I surround myself with really good people. My radio show has the most amazing team. And Bernadette Byrnes, my business partner, is the heart of that place. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I knew we’d get to this stage. We became the first carbon-neutral salon in the Republic of Ireland. We’re so proud of that. It’s been a long time coming. The timing was just right and it’s been great.

It’s clear that you’re passionate about your salon!

I just love it, I love going in there. I’m not a person who will go grey. I refuse to do it. Shout-out to my silver sisters. But I can’t do it so I have to go in there every two weeks. It’s a preference rather than a statement.

Pic: Brian McEvoy

What are you up to for the next couple of weeks?

The next couple of weeks, we are Zamparelli B&B. I have a lot of coming. I kind of screwed myself when I got a spare bedroom with an ensuite. I just have people staying constantly. I am in the middle of changing sheets! My sister and her family just left and now my mother-in-law is coming. I have a lot of guests. I’m going to take a bit of a break and go to Lisbon with the kids for a couple of days. I’m doing Electric Picnic with 2FM which is my first time going down. I’m very excited about that! And then I’m trying to train my dog not to s**t in my house! That’s a busy couple of months!

Adding a puppy to the mix must have been crazy!

He’s very good. We’re getting there but it’s a process!

Your podcast helps new mams. But what advice would you give teenage Jennifer?

I would tell baby Jen to stay away from the bad boys because they are never going to change. Don’t waste your time. Don’t buy that expensive handbag and save your money. Put the tweezers down and don’t overpluck because she’s going to spend a fortune on her eyebrows trying to recreate the look she already had!

Jennifer Zamparelli was speaking to VIP as she has teamed up with Jump Zone, Ireland’s first and largest indoor Trampoline and Inflatable Adventure Parks, to mark its 10th birthday. To celebrate on the 12th of August, across all three park locations at Sandyford, Liffey Valley and Santry, there will be a fantastic line-up of attractions to enjoy including the very popular trampolines, the giant inflatable, climbing up the Warped Walls, as well as the multiple challenges of the Ninja Zone and Assault Courses. You can find out more here.

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