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Claire's joy as show gets prime-time slot

CLAIRE Byrne is proving that Miriam O'Callaghan is not the only female broadcaster who can anchor a prime-time current affairs show as she looks forward to an earlier slot.

Claire Byrne Live will air at 9.30pm on Monday, its earliest broadcast since it launched in the new year.

"We're starting at 9.30pm on Monday night which is great because it's been 10.30pm so far," she revealed.

"It'll be interesting to see how the 9.30pm start goes," she told the Herald.

Claire has proved a hit with viewers so far and she revealed that she has "no regrets" about taking on the challenge of launching a fresh show.

"We're really pleased with the response so far and with the viewing figures, they have been really, really encouraging," she said. "It's really exciting and I've no regrets about doing it, it has been really enjoyable so far."

Bosses in Montrose are clearly equally pleased with the RTE One show's performance so far as they are bumping it up the viewing schedule.

An RTE source last night said that this bump up to the "prime time slot" will expose Claire and her team to a "much bigger available audience".


"To date the series has had close to 250,000 viewers watch the full hour programme every week," the insider added. "It is only for this one week at the moment, but the hope is that if it does well then it may happen on a more occasional basis."

As a woman in a top role within RTE, she didn't have to look too far for inspiration.

"We have lots of role models in Marian Finucane, Anne Doyle, Olivia O'Leary," Claire commented.

"We have a really strong track record with women who are really powerful in Irish media."

She is mum to Patrick (2) and three-month-old Jane, but with the help of partner Gerry Scollan she manages to juggle work and home expertly.

Her RTE role means that she is luckier than most working parents, she said.

"I'm not leaving the house at 7.30am, like some poor mothers, and getting back late in the evening. I'm quite flexible with the way I work," Claire said. "It's always going to busy with two small people at home but it's going fine."