Saturday 21 September 2019

'It was a huge shock at the time - I wasn't expecting it' - Muireann O'Connell on departure from Today FM

The Six O'Clock Show presenter was speaking at the launch of the new schedule for Virgin Media Television

Muireann O'Connell at Virgin Media Television autumn launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Muireann O'Connell at Virgin Media Television autumn launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy

Gabija Gataveckaite

Muireann O'Connell has opened up about her sudden departure from Today FM.

Last month the popular radio presenter announced she had been 'fired' from the station where she had been working since 2016.

Initially she had filled Al Porter's slot after his departure and then took over the show in January last year.  Mairead Ronan was then announced as the presenter of a new two-hour afternoon show at Today FM.

At the time, Muireann tweeted, "Hello lovely people! I have been fired from @TodayFM. It’s all good. Like, it’s embarrassing and I’m a bit sad but I love almost everyone in that station and wish them all the best in the future.  @cocomairead will be great!"

The Six O'Clock Show presenters Muireann O'Connell and Martin King at the Virgin Media Television autumn launch 2019. PIC: Brian McEvoy
The Six O'Clock Show presenters Muireann O'Connell and Martin King at the Virgin Media Television autumn launch 2019. PIC: Brian McEvoy

Speaking to Independent.ie at Virgin Media Television's upcoming schedule launch today, the Six O'Clock Show co-presenter revealed her shock at the news.

“It was a huge shock at the time, wasn’t expecting it, so I had a little bit of a wallow for myself,” she said.

“I was more worried about my poor parents and how they’re going to be because obviously, when something like this happens, you know they get so upset and so worried about you.

“It was a surprise but it’s so nice to have the people here at Virgin Media.

Pictures taken at Virgin Media Television’s Autumn launch as the broadcaster unveiled its new season of programming from the VMTV studios in Ballymount, Dublin. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Pictures taken at Virgin Media Television’s Autumn launch as the broadcaster unveiled its new season of programming from the VMTV studios in Ballymount, Dublin. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Muireann O'Connell at Virgin Media Television autumn launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Yewande Biala at the Virgin Media Television new season launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
The Six O'Clock Show presenters Muireann O'Connell and Martin King at the Virgin Media Television autumn launch 2019. PIC: Brian McEvoy

“I got to come into this amazingly supportive place in Virgin Media the day that it hit and they were all like, ‘do you want to take the day off?’ and I said, ‘absolutely not’.

“They’re just the best bunch of people and I’m so lucky to be with such a great organisation, so it was brilliant to come in and they all gave me a big hug,” she added.

She said that she does not regret sending out the tweets where she announced that she had lost her show on the station.

“There's no regret because it was exactly what I was feeling at the time,” she explained.

“I didn’t really think it through because it was exactly how I felt at the time.”

Muireann is excited about the new season on the Six O'Clock Show and working with a new team.

“I love it, really happy and delighted to get to work with the new team," she said.

“[I'm] really looking forward to it, and we’re starting to try some new things and some new segments out that we’re all very excited for,” she said.

Other new additions to the schedule at Virgin Media Television include a new thriller drama series, The Deceived, from Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee.

"Set in Donegal, the story centres on a young woman whose affair with a married man leads to a shocking death," reads the synopsis.

"In this compelling, sinister narrative of lust, manipulation and betrayal, she finds herself trapped in a world where she can no longer trust her own mind."

The series marks a big departure for the writer who is best known for her comedic genius in Derry Girls.

The Deceived is also described as "a suspensful thriller about love, loss, violence, and retribution."

The second series of Blood, starring Adrian Dunbar, will also air this season as well as The Darklands, a new Irish drama focusing on an aspiring MMA fighter and his involvement in crime.  It is written by Cardboard Gangsters writer Mark O'Connor.

This season will also see the return of favourites including Living with Lucy, Blood and Red Rock: The Finale to Virgin Media One, Two and Three channels.

The channel has also announced a major investment in sports coverage with UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League and the Six Nations among many others. 

In news and current affairs, Inside the Guards will shine a light into the everyday life of a garda in District K in Dublin and reflect gangland crime in reality.

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