Miriam is Primed for a Monday makeover

By Laura Butler

BROADCASTER Miriam O'Callaghan has defended her Prime Time show after a drop in ratings, insisting that it remains a "strong product".

New figures show that the Monday edition of the programme has lost 137,000 viewers since the slot was held by Pat Kenny's The Frontline.

The Frontline was axed in 2013 and Pat then joined the Prime Time team.

It has been reported that the decline in numbers for the opening episode of the week could be due to Pat's defection to Newstalk last year - and now RTE bosses are considering a revamp of the programme.

Mum-of-eight Miriam (53) told the Herald that she has "no idea" what will happen to the Monday slot, but that change is good.

"Prime Time has a great audience and we need to hold on to that. I don't want to end up like British current affairs shows such as Newsnight, which is a great show but has teeny audiences compared to ours.

"If we change things around, it will be to ensure that people keep watching."


Miriam said she is "obsessed" with viewership numbers and keeps an eye on how the show is received by the public.

"I love numbers and everyone in the office will laugh and say I'm obsessed with ratings, but I have always thought, since I started presenting a current affairs show, that it matters."

The TV and radio presenter kicked off another season of her Saturday night entertainment series last weekend.

This time around the show is being recorded to allow her to see more of her husband Steve Carson, who works for BBC in Belfast.

Miriam was speaking at the launch of The Secret Ingredient, a fundraising cookbook developed by the staff of St James's Hospital, yesterday.