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Charlie was the one that got away, says Miriam

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Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Tony Gavin

Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Tony Gavin

Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Tony Gavin

RTE star Miriam O'Callaghan has revealed that Charlie Haughey was the one high-profile guest she could not persuade to come on TV.

The presenter wanted the former Taoiseach to participate in a documentary about his life and times.

She and her producer husband Steve Carson met Mr Haughey a dozen times, and even travelled to his mansion in Abbeville in Kinsealy.

The couple, through their company Mint Productions, made the four-part RTE series Haughey which was aired in 2005.

It did not feature any onscreen input by Mr Haughey, who died in June 2006 at the age of 81.

Miriam (54) spoke about her dealings with the senior politician, in advance of a new drama series that will be screened on RTE this autumn called Charlie.

It will star Aidan Gillen in the main role and also features another Love Hate star, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, who is best known for playing the menacing Nidge in the hit series.

Mum-of-eight Miriam said: "We used to drive out early in the morning to see Charlie Haughey, myself and Steve, because I really felt he should do an interview."

She revealed that he momentarily thought about it, but he didn't do it. "I found him fascinating. I had never interviewed him before. He was kind of before my time."

However, the Prime Time presenter said: "I think he was super intelligent, he was very, very clever.

"And I obviously met him towards the end of his life. I found him fascinating, very intelligent and I actually think he would have come across well in an interview," said Miriam who is currently presenting her summer Saturday night chat show on RTE.

"I failed. I'd never failed before, I did my best but I failed with Charlie Haughey," the star said.

Charlie is one of the most anticipated programmes in RTE's autumn line-up.

Tom Vaughan Lawlor will be playing the role of former press secretary PJ Mara in the new political drama.

fdillon@herald.ie


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