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RTE'S Miriam O'Callaghan: No changes for 'Prime Time'

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Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan

RTE presenter Miriam O'Callaghan has insisted Prime Time will return to the autumn schedule stronger than ever.

The show was hit by speculation of a shake-up after figures showed the Monday night show had dropped 137,400 viewers over the past year.

Its audience share for the slot previously occupied by The Frontline fell from 34.34pc in 2009-10 to 21.55pc in 2013-14.

"I read the speculation but look, I've worked on British current affairs shows, on Newsnight, which is 
meant to be the top-dog current affairs show," she told the Herald.

"They get a tiny audience and compared to them, we get a box office audience. That's the truth. I think Irish people are still very interested in current affairs.

"There was talk of the Monday night changing but I honestly don't know anything about it. But I always work on a need-to-know basis and if someone needs to tell me something, they'll tell me.

"Until then, I'll keep trucking along. I'll finish my chat show on Saturday week and it's back on Prime Time.

Miriam, who has co-fronted the show for over 15 years, added how no decision has yet been made on who will replace Claire Byrne when she goes on maternity leave shortly.

"The last time Claire went off it was Katie Hannon and Robert Short. I honestly don't know but it will probably be the same as before," she added.

She'll be returning to her light entertainment role this weekend as she presents her Saturday night chat show, which sees Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe as her special guest.

He has jetted into Ireland for the red-carpet premiere of What If and 
will pre-record his interview this evening before flying out again.

And she revealed how even her elderly mum, who's also called Miriam, is not immune to the magic of the blockbuster franchise and is coming out 
to the studio to meet Daniel.

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"I can't believe it because so many people, young and old, still love Harry Potter," she sad.

"The only person who isn't a bit enthusiastic is my eight-year-old son, who has never heard of him. Everyone else from my mother to my 12-year-old is coming to meet Harry Potter."

mfinn@herald.ie


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