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Miriam first pick for Saturday Night Show

Glamorous TV star Miriam O'Callaghan was offered the Saturday night chat-show slot before presenter Brendan O'Connor, but she turned it down.

The Herald can reveal the bubbly Prime Time presenter was headhunted to front a year-round, magazine-style series on RTE One along the same lines as her hugely popular summer programme, Saturday Night with Miriam.

But the busy mum-of-eight declined the high-profile offer to replace Tubridy Tonight in favour of sticking to her current job at Prime Time.

A source close to O'Callaghan said: "She was approached to do it year round but if she had accepted she would have been forced to leave Prime Time, something she has repeatedly said she is not prepared to do. She is very passionate about the programme and it allows her to do things that wouldn't be possible if she only worked on a Saturday night show."

The job eventually went to O'Connor, who made his debut on The Saturday Night Show last Saturday week.

O'Callaghan (50) is currently filming a documentary about the state of psychiatric hospitals across the country.

And despite her already jam-packed schedule, she has "definitely signed on" to host another season of her acclaimed summer chat-show this year.


"She loves presenting the light-hearted summer series; it means she can have the best of both worlds," the source said.

Meanwhile, O'Callaghan has admitted she is a 'soccer mom' at heart. The mum-of-eight, whose youngest son, James, turned four this weekend, was pictured supporting her twin daughters Jessica and Georgia McGurk in the All Ireland U 19 basketball final recently.

She told the Herald she is "extremely proud" of them.

"They were devastated to lose the match. I attend every big game; these moments don't come again.

"I don't want to lie on my deathbed feeling guilty that I missed out on all their events but thinking at least I was a good TV presenter; when it comes down to it, who cares about being a good presenter?"