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Michael O'Doherty: Sean has suffered a cruel blow -- but he'll be back

To quote someone that Sean Munsanje must have reported on more times that he cares to remember, "life is a rollercoaster", a fact of which he will be acutely aware as he wakes up today.

Just six weeks ago, Sean was on stage at the Walkers TVNow Awards, collecting the award for the Favourite Newcomer to Irish TV, topping a poll of about 15,000 viewers.

And today, he's facing the prospect of having been axed from the job that got him the award.

I stood on that very stage and boasted about my own part in Sean's award, joking that he owes everything to me.

I was, after all, one of three judges on Total Xposure who picked him as one of the final contestants to win that presenter role on Xpose. It was I who said that "If I had to choose a winner, it would be Sean."

And just because I've seen my protege suffer his first big disappointment, it doesn't mean that I'm going to stop with the patronising advice now. So here goes...

Thirteen years ago, I got my big break in magazine publishing when, with a mixture of luck and perseverance, I was involved in the relaunch of Magill.

I put my heart and soul into it, the magazine was an instant success, and within six months I was gone -- exhausted and broken by the whole experience.

And I remember thinking that I'd blown my chance of being what I always dreamed of -- a magazine publisher.

There I was on the scrapheap, aged 33, asking myself 'was that it?'

The biggest mistake I made was thinking that I was to blame, that some inadequacy on my part led to this rejection.

And for all his bravado and fine words, those doubts will probably be chipping away at Sean today.

"Was I good enough for the job?"

"Were people just being nice when they said they liked me?"


In short, Sean must be wondering whether his 12 months or so on Xpose is as good as it gets for him.

Well it isn't. Sean has plenty going for him. He has a natural talent in front of camera, which we all saw in Total Xposure.

He has an ability to learn and improve, which he's displayed since he started Xpose.

And most of all, he's a lovely bloke. Other than to comment on his shocking taste in skinny cardigans, I can't remember anyone that had a bad word to say about him.

Sean has that most precious of commodities in the world of TV -- likeability -- and as long as he doesn't lose it, it won't be long before he's back on our screens.

In the 12 years since I left Magill, I've done okay. The experience I gained, the contacts I made, and the backbone I grew during those six months have all contributed directly to what I've achieved since then.

You've simply had your taste of rejection, Sean. Welcome to the real world -- there's plenty more where that came from.