Friday 21 June 2019

Miriam O'Callaghan filling in for Sean O'Rourke on radio - but telly chat show loses out to fun in sun

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Miriam O'Callaghan will be keeping radio colleague Sean O'Rourke's seat warm from the middle of July.

The Prime Time presenter will fill in on Today With Sean O'Rourke, which runs from 10am to noon daily on RTE Radio 1, from July 15 for six weeks.

However, Miriam has also revealed that, for the second year in a row, she won't be hosting a TV chat show on Saturday nights on RTE One.

An RTE spokesperson said The Tommy Tiernan Show will run until the end of June, and details of the summer schedule after that have yet to be released.

Jennifer Zamparelli
Jennifer Zamparelli

Miriam told the Herald it was her decision not to commit to a chat show format as she wanted to be able to plan holidays and spend time with her children.

The 59-year-old is mum to eight children and is planning to spend a fortnight in Portugal during the summer.

"I'm choosing this year to do six weeks of radio rather than the weekend work," she said.

"I just love that. Working on daily radio is quite exciting and it means you don't have to be around every Saturday night in the summer, which I find quite difficult with my kids because we can't go anywhere. So they're happy we can go on holidays."

Asked if she was disappointed not to be returning to her Saturday night slot, she said: "It was my choice, and never say never, but this year I am doing radio."

Meanwhile, Jennifer Zamparelli will begin broadcasting on 2FM in a mid-morning slot from June 10.

It will be a talk show format, a departure for the station which hasn't prog- rammed anything similar since the late Gerry Ryan's show.

Miriam backed Jennifer to do "a brilliant job", but wouldn't be drawn on whether she thought bringing a chat show to the music-based station was a good idea.

"I don't get into policy, but I love Jennifer. She's an absolutely brilliant broadcaster. Whatever she does, it will be a roaring success," she said.

"She's bright, she's sassy, she's lovely, she's kind. She will just do brilliantly."

Miriam also praised the prominence of female presenters on the station now that Jenny Greene, Doireann Garrihy, Tracy Clifford and Jennifer are hosting shows during the day.

"Yeah, women rock. Women rule the world right now. Happy days, long may it continue," she said.

Miriam was on hand yesterday to launch the Bloomsday Bike Rally. The annual event, sponsored by Brennans Bread, celebrates James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses and Dublin "in the rare old times".

On Friday, June 7, more than 150 cyclists - many in boaters and Edwardian gear - will set off from St Stephen's Green to tour the city, stopping along the way for drinks and perhaps a plate or two of nutty gizzards, including a halt for a rousing rendition of Molly Malone on the Mansion House steps.

The event is in aid of the Irish Youth Foundation.

"It's a really great cause and I've been connected with them for a long time," said Miriam.

"They do great work for under-privileged children."

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