RTE war of words: Miriam hits back at Mike Murphy after he labels Prime Time boring
BROADCASTER Miriam O'Callaghan has defended an edition of 'Prime Time', labelled "the worst television programme ever made" by presenter Mike Murphy.
The former 'Live Mike' star claimed that an edition of the current-affairs programme hosted by Ms O'Callaghan, which aired before his documentary 'Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting' was "the most excruciating boring 'Prime Time' on record, involving two semi-coherent wannabe frontbenchers shouting at each other about the water charges".
Mr Murphy said the debate on April 17 had been so poor, "even Miriam O'Callaghan's bouffant had drooped with disinterest" and he claimed "'Prime Time' should have got a healthy kick to another slot".
However, Ms O'Callaghan hit back yesterday to defend her programme.
"RTE's current-affairs department tries to reflect the concerns of the people we meet on a daily basis who care more about the money coming out of their pockets than art.
"Of course, works of art are important but less so for people trying to survive and I disagree with Mike's assessment that water rates are boring -- the vast majority of people are worried about money and simply don't have enough to survive," Ms O'Callaghan told the Irish Independent.
The mother of eight said that despite Mr Murphy's claim that the 10.15pm slot given to his arts programme had been too late, other programmes had attracted viewers in the same slot.
"Pat Kenny's 'Frontline' programme goes out at 10.30pm and always does well in that slot. I like Mike Murphy and it's great that he cares so much but that 'Prime Time' was a fascinating programme, with front-benchers I believed argued well. And for the record, I want Mike to know that I do not have a bouffant," said Ms O'Callaghan.
The presenter also denied Mr Murphy's claim that whoever had scheduled his arts programme in RTE was a "luddite".
Ms O'Callaghan was speaking as she took to the water to launch the first National Volunteering Week.
People across the country are being urged to get involved in the initiative which takes place from May 14-20.
Research carried out by Volunteer Ireland in advance of National Volunteering Week has found that being involved in volunteering makes people happier.
National Volunteering Week is being co-ordinated nationally by Volunteer Ireland and delivered locally through the 22 local volunteer centres across the country.
The flagship project for National Volunteering Week 2012 is a National Inland Waterways Clean-Up.
To get involved, go to www.volunteer.ie