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I'm having a recession Christmas - Miriam

PRIME TIME host Miriam O'Callaghan says her family will enjoy a "recession Christmas" - as she braces herself to take another pay cut from RTE.

The mum of eight has told her children not to expect much from Santa, "because there's no money in the world".

While she still does not know for certain whether she's destined to get another pay cut, the presenter says she's waiting to hear from director general Noel Curran if she must take one this year.

She told the Herald: "I keeping telling the kids it's a recession Santa this year.

"My five-year-old wants a Thomas The Tank Engine train station this year. And I asked my 10-year-old to make out his list earlier this week, and he put down two things. And I said, 'are you sure you only want two things?', and he said, 'yes, because there's no money in the world'."

But she added: "Do I worry about Christmas? No. Do I think about Christmas? No."


"I haven't done a thing. I haven't thought about it. I usually prepare about two days beforehand because I think it's all a lot of fuss, it's too much."

The RTE star said she'll take whatever pay cut is advised.

"I was the first to take a cut the last time, and I've said already that I'll take the cut that the director general says is fair. I've always said that from day one and I'll say it again."

She said: "Even the older ones in the house know it's a recession Christmas this year. The kids want less these days and I think that's my brainwashing."

Miriam will be bringing her kids shopping into the city centre to soak up the festive atmosphere.

"I go into town because the kids love the windows, or I go to Rathmines, or my mum lives near Cornellscourt so I go there."

Mr Curran recently said its top earners will all have to take a 30pc pay cut by 2013 as their contracts come up for renewal.

The issue of presenters' salaries has been controversial for RTE and Mr Curran said in a recent speech that they were paid too much money in the boom years.

Miriam took a cut from €301,667 in 2008 to €290,625 in 2009, a decrease of €11,042 or 3.6pc.