PEEL Talent specialises in arranging Guest Speaker and Enrichment Programmes for many of the world’s leading Cruise Lines, drawing from our database of over a thousand speakers, art tutors, crafts instructors, bridge directors and choirmasters.
Johanne Leahy is a former broadcaster on Ulster Television who appeared on television screens as a Newsreader and Continuity Announcer during “The Troubles” of the ’70’s and ’80's in Northern Ireland. To escape the demands of working in the fast paced world of live television, she travelled extensively and enjoyed cruising mainly on Cunard and Silversea. She attributes her lifelong love of cruising to her first cruise as a fourteen year old schoolgirl when she visited Madeira, Casablanca and Lisbon on HMS Devonia where she first experienced different cultures, languages and customs that opened up a new vista on the world. The sights and smell of the souks of Morocco were forever impacted on her.
In 2000 she bought a house in Spain and submerged herself in Spanish history and the culture of Andalucía and Moorish culture.
After retirement from a successful 38 year television career, she was enticed to become a Port and Destination speaker on Voyages of Discovery, specialising in the opening up of the New World with the Voyages of Columbus and the Age of Discovery. The links with Madeira and the Canary islands and the consequent spread to Central America and the Caribbean islands have been fascinating - the richness and diversity of this part of the world owes much to the history of settlement by the various European powers. She presents enthusiastic and interesting talks with a knowledge of local culture influenced by many years of travel.
Her engaging presentation skills reflect the many years she spent compering concerts for Ritz Records, working with Irish singers like Daniel O’Donnell and Foster and Allen who travelled extensively in Australia. She cites the Tammy Wynette Silver Anniversary Show as one of her most thrilling career highlights as it enabled her to appear on stage at the London Palladium.
As a member of The Art Society with a keen interest in art, her visits to the great Italian cities of Florence and Rome and the Russian port of St Petersburg during the Baltic Cities cruise have provided a wealth of material for her destination talks. She also has a passion for gemstones and has been lucky enough to acquire some interesting pieces of unique craftsmanship during her travels.
Updated April 2020
Andalucía and Moorish culture