Source: Top Of The Pops Magazine
Date: March 1996
Heading: The Battle Of The Sexes!
Interviewer: Peter Loraine


It's boys against girls! The gloves are on as pop chap of the '90s Ronan Keating prepares to take on pop gal of the '90s Louise Nurding. Is Ronan the modern man - caring, kind and capable of doing his own ironing? Is Louise the modern woman - strong, independent and clued-up about what's what in her tool box?

Take your ringside seat as they face five rounds of questions to find out who will win the TOTP Battle Of The Sexes.

Ding ding! Let Round 1 commence...

The Practical Round

How do you change a plug?
Louise: OK, first you use a screwdriver to take off the three bits and remove the fuse, erm, and then you've got three coloured wires. Blue is live, brown is negative and the other one... erm, goes in the middle. Right?
Ronan: Erm, no. Brown is live and goes on the right, blue is neutral and goes on the left. And you don't completely screwdriver out the screws, you loosen them!
Louise: I know that, that's what I meant to say!
TOTP: Aherm! Five points to Ronan for being completely correct and two to Louise for knowing the colour of the wires, even if she would blow herself up!

Can you use a washing machine?
Ronan: Yeah. First of all, you open the door - although mine takes ages to open because it has a safety catch. Then you put in the clothes, close the door, put the powder in the draw and set the temperature. If you're washing jumpers it's quite a cool temperature... erm, and that's it!
Louise: I'm impressed! I do all my own washing, and I'm really careful about how to use my machine because I don't want to damage my clothes. Jumpers go in at about 30 degrees...
Ronan: And you can do half loads can't you?
Louise: Yep!
Ronan: Actually, I've never used a washing machine before. My mum washes all my clothes for me. Sorry, I lied!
TOTP: Five points to Louise, four to Ronan (for being a convincing and very accurate liar!)

When did you last sew a button on a shirt?
Ronan: Never. I could probably just about thread the needle, but I wouldn't know where to put the knot in the cotton. I don't think I'd bother sewing a button on a shirt, I'd probably wear something else and throw the shirt away, heh heh!
Louise: I'm not sure when the last time I did it was, but I've got a needle and cotton in my travel pack, so I could if I had to. I'm not sure if I'd have the right colour cotton though!
TOTP: No points for Ronan (throw it in the bin indeed!) Four to Louise (missing out on one for not having the right cotton!)

The Emotional Round

How would you sign a birthday card to a mate of the same sex?
Louise: 'Love, Louise'!
Ronan: Dunno. 'Alright matey', or 'Have a pint on me!'
Louise: Wouldn't you put 'Love, Ronan' if it was to Shane or Stephen?
Ronan: (Pauses) Erm, yeah, I would.
TOTP: Five points to Louise, two to Ronan (for having to be pushed into admitting he'd write 'Lurve'!)

How do you greet your mum when you arrive home?
Both: With a hug and a kiss.
Louise: I've always done that, even when I lived at home I'd kiss my mum good night.
Ronan: I didn't used to, but because I'm away a lot, I appreciate my family more. I shake hands with my dad before I leave to go somewhere too!
TOTP: Top marks to Louise but Ronan loses one for not being man enough to give his dad a hug and a kiss too.

Do you feel sorry for yourself when you've got a cold?
Louise: No, but I quite like being ill because it means you can stay at home on the sofa, under the duvet watching films all day. It's always good if there's someone around to make you cups of tea!
Ronan: I don't feel sorry for myself at all. I fight it when I'm ill because I can't bear not being able to do anything. I don't mind the sympathy though, that's OK!
TOTP: Hmmm. Only two marks to Louise for being weedy while Ronan scores five for battling on and not being a Walter The Softie. After all it's only a cold!

The Career Round

A magazine interview crops up at the last minute when you'd planned to spend the evening with your best mate to celebrate their birthday. What do you do?
Ronan: I'd do the interview. It's work, and work is important. The friend would have to understand.
Louise: I'd do the interview and, hopefully, still have enough time to pop round and see my friend later. If it was my best friend they'd understand. You have to do interviews and stuff, they're important!
TOTP: Three marks to Ronan for being a bit hard on his mates. Louise gets full marks for hitting the right balance and showing she understands her friends.

Would you wear less clothes on a record sleeve if you were told it would mean higher record sales?
Louise: Hmmm, I'd hope that would never happen. If the record company didn't have enough belief in the record alone, I think I'd suggest we changed the song rather than wear less clothes!
Ronan: It's difficult for us being a boy band. We were told to strip for our first single sleeve, and we fought it, but ended up giving in and doing it topless. We wouldn't do that again though, not now.
Louise: Yeah, it's a little different for boys though... Ronan: Yeah, but I haven't got the best body in the world, so I felt uncomfortable.
TOTP: Five to Louise for standing up to her principles and five to Ronan for learning from his mistakes and being man enough to admit he's got hang-ups about his bod.

Do you let your fans kiss you?
Ronan: Yes, but only on the cheek. They sometimes try to kiss you on the lips, but you learn to turn your head quickly. I don't mind at all, but when you're doing something like a record signing and there's hundreds of girls queuing, all wanting to kiss you, it can get a bit much.
Louise: Believe it or not, it's usually female fans who want to kiss me and say 'Hello' - it's just a gal thing. Sometimes the boys will want a kiss and I let them kiss me on the cheek. Sometimes they might want to be more intimate and I think 'Eeek', but you just turn your cheek and miss them totally. You'd go round kissing everyone otherwise.
TOTP: Five to Ronan for not taking advantage of all those hordes of snog-thirsty gals and a point less to Louise for 'eeeking' when the boys get too fruity.

The Social Round

Would you ever go to a fancy dress party dressed as the opposite sex?
Ronan: Yeah, it would be a laugh!
Louise: I would too... I'd probably go as a gangster or something like that.
Ronan: (Blushing) I dressed up as a schoolgirl for a school play three years ago. I was the cocky one in the class. I had pink tights on and long hair. It was a real laugh!
TOTP: Five points to Ronan for sharing that with us, three points to Louise (losing two for playing a bit too safe!)

You're out for a romantic dinner with someone you really fancy. Do you pay the bill?
Ronan: Absolutely.
Louise: I'd pay it too, but I can't stand it if you're out with a boy and he insists on paying just because he's a boy! If that happened, I'd probably insist he paid next time!
Ronan: Oooh, I always insist on paying. I guess I'm just old-fashioned!
TOTP: Yikes! Only two points for Ronan (fancy admitting he's old-fashioned at this point in the proceedings!) Five points to Louise because she likes to pay her way as long as the boy does too!

How much shandy booze can you drink before falling over?
Ronan: I used to drink beer, but I don't any more. Guinness makes me feel sick, but Jack Daniels is my drink, if I'm having an alcoholic one which isn't very often.
Louise: If I'm drinking alcohol, I drink vodka, and I don't get drunk on it.
Ronan: I couldn't drink much vodka shandy booze without falling over... Louise: Don't worry about it, I couldn't drink much Jack Daniels shandy booze either!
TOTP: Four to Ronan for passing on the real shandy booze and admitting it makes him feel sick. Four points to Louise for knowing when to stop.

The Don't Be Nosey Round

Which looks better naked, a man or a woman?
Ronan: (Slightly horrified at the question) Uh?! A woman of course!
Louise: Do you think so? I do too. I think a female's body is neater than the male one.
Ronan: Oh definitely, yes!
TOTP: Louise tots up four marks for being cool about nudey bods while Ronan manages only two for being shocked when asked to think about a nudey man.

Do you have a male or a female doctor?
Ronan: A female family doctor.
Louise: And mine's male. I've never really thought about it before.
Ronan: I've had a full medical before, but it wasn't with her. The whole band had to go for one when we went abroad. I don't know if I'd like to take all my clothes off in front of my female doctor, but I guess she's seen it all before!
TOTP: Five each. Ronan only just scrapes it for wibbling about removing his boxers in front of a woman though.

Have you ever heard the saying, 'A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for life.'?
Louise: Yes I have. If I had a son and a daughter I'd treat them the same, it's a stupid saying.
Ronan: It's a very old-fashioned statement and very sexist, isn't it? But it's cute at the same time, I suppose! Things are changing though, I don't think many people believe in sayings like that any more!
TOTP: A high five to Louise, super-sussed in the equality department. But oh dear Ronan! A big fat zero for suggesting the saying is 'cute'! Tut tut!!

And the winner is...

Louise Nurding in the gal's corner with a knockout 63 points! Bruised in the boys' corner, Ronan Keating hits the ropes with a manly 51 points. Tough luck lads. Louise is the champ when it comes to the punch! Well done girls!