Tuesday 12 December 2017

'My brother, a CNN producer, said I was over-coached'

Live leader TV debates were a feature of the 2011 General Election and Eamon Gilmore was not happy with his performances in the first two...

'The final debate, between Kenny, Martin and I, that I had been seeking, was moderated on RTÉ by Miriam O'Callaghan on February 22. I did no formal preparation for this one.

My brother John had come home from the United States to help with the campaign and gave me some good advice. He had worked for over a quarter of a century with CNN, and, for the past decade, as the senior producer on Larry King Live​. He had covered several American elections, and knew a thing or two about televised debates. He had been quietly observing my preparations so far and had come to the conclusion that I was being over-coached.

"He advised me to dispense with rehearsals for this one, to rest on the afternoon of the debate, to go for a walk and clear my head beforehand, and to 'just be yourself ' in the studio. It worked. I was more relaxed, and although I'm probably the worst possible judge, I think it was my best television performance."

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