Saturday 18 November 2017

‘Leave RTE? Never. They’ll have to carry me out of here in a box’ — Miriam O’Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan

Ken Sweeney, Entertainment Editor

MIRIAM O'Callaghan has vowed that she will never leave RTE, but has strongly hinted that rival stations have made her offers.

The presenter said that she feels at home in Montrose and has no plans to move on.

She told the Herald that as she had come to RTE from the BBC, it was a case of “been there, seen that”.

“I would never leave RTE – |they would have to bring me out |in a box,” she added.

“I write off all offers. I came |from the BBC, where I worked as a presenter for 10 years. That was my career and I chose to leave a very good show to come to Ireland.”

However, when pressed on whether she had been approached by Newstalk in light of Pat Kenny leaving RTE, she would only say: “No comment.”


“Honestly, I'm not going in to what happens or stuff like that, but I'm very happy in RTE,” Miriam added.

However, she did go on record to confirm that she had never been approached by TV3.

“It's a great place, TV3, but I like what I do and I'm happy with where |I am,” the presenter said.

She also confirmed she would be happy to visit Newstalk as a guest of Pat on his new show. “We're not |enemies in the media and I think he is a superb broadcaster,” Miriam said.

“But as an RTE employee, my |loyalties are to Sean O'Rourke and the RTE Today show. So you'd probably find me as a guest at RTE first.”

It was said last year that “morale was low” at the station due to the |fallout of the Father Reynolds case.

But Miriam issued a wake-up call to staff. “We're flying. I’d be very disappointed if morale is low,” she said.

“People should get up and be |grateful for what they have every day of their lives. And I think anyone who is privileged enough to work in the public service broadcaster of any country, and has a good job, should get their morale together or stop working there because it is a privilege and a pleasure.”

The mum-of-eight, who continues to host the John Murray slot on RTE Radio One, revealed how she had been “bitten by the daily radio bug.”

“There's something about the daily buzz of doing daily live radio that has bitten me,” she said. “But I wouldn't like to continue doing John's slot because that's John's slot.

“But I would like to continue |doing live radio. I haven't got so far |as talking with them about my own slot for next year.”


“I wish I had a strategy – I just get |up in the morning and get going,” Miriam added.

“I stood in after being asked to do it for one day, which became a week, and I'm still here eight weeks later.

“I would never go after anyone's |slot, though, because I'm not that |kind of person.

“I think people make their own decisions. The bosses decide things.”

With her Prime Time colleague Claire Byrne preparing to go off on |maternity leave, experienced mum Miriam gave her the perfect going away gift – a book on babies.

She also gave her the reassuring message to go off and “enjoy yourself and your baby”.

“Claire must be bored rigid |listening to people saying, ‘Your |colleague has eight kids,’” Miriam |told the Herald.

“I don't believe that I have eight kids anyway. I think people should have as many kids as they want, or none if they want.

“I'm not there ordering people to have loads of kids,” she added.

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