BROADCASTER Miriam O'Callaghan will host a 'Prime Time' presidential debate in the middle of the race for the Aras.
In the aftermath of last night's Vincent Browne TV3 debate between nominees for the presidency, the Irish Independent has learned the debate will be staged on October 12 next.
The 90-minute special will take place in the middle of the campaign for the Aras and a week and a half before the final 'Frontline Leaders Debate', hosted by Pat Kenny.
"There was a feeling in RTE, and even among the candidates, that after the TV3 debate last night, there are very little set piece debates among the candidates until the 'Frontline' debate right at the end of the race. It's a four-week campaign so its right there should be a big debate right in the middle," an RTE source told the Irish Independent.
Ms O'Callaghan will be the sole host of the upcoming 'Prime Time Presidential Debate', 14 years after she co-hosted the last RTE presidential debate with Brian Farrell.
"'Prime Time' has traditionally been the primary forum for the big election debates," added the source.
Ms O'Callaghan last night declined to comment on the debate.
Usually airing on Tuesday and Thursdays, RTE have decided to air an additional 'Prime Time' special on a Wednesday night so the special debate can go ahead.
All seven candidates are now in discussions with RTE about the format of the special.