Friday 17 January 2020

Miriam turns 60 and says 'life is for living' with trip to Rome

MILESTONE: Miriam O’Callaghan turns 60. Photo: David Conachy
MILESTONE: Miriam O’Callaghan turns 60. Photo: David Conachy
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

RTE star Miriam O'Callaghan is celebrating her 60th birthday with a family trip to Rome this weekend.

The presenter jetted off with her husband and children to celebrate the milestone tomorrow in the Eternal City.

It is the first time the star has marked a birthday in her adult life and she told the Sunday Independent it was time to seize the day.

"I have never had a birthday party in my life - I just never liked the idea. But I wanted to do something special this time, so we all decided to go to Rome for the weekend - the Eternal City.

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"We are all here, my husband Steve and my eight children."

The Prime Time presenter, who shares her 60th birthday with 'domestic goddess' Nigella Lawson, says she was keen to let her hair down when considering the prospect of how short life is.

"Life is for living every day," she said. "Since my precious sister Anne died at 33 from cancer I always look on life as just a lottery. Carpe diem."

O'Callaghan's plans changed in recent weeks after she previously said she wasn't going to do anything special to mark the day.

Last month she said: "I didn't have a 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th or 50th birthday party, so I won't be having one when I turn 60.

"As most people know, my sister died when she was 33 and I can't understand why people look at ageing and think it is sad to be getting older.

"I thank God for every day I am here on this planet."

Last Friday, Miriam joined a host of stars who paid tribute to her former RTE colleague Marian Finucane following the radio host's sudden death.

She said that Finucane "was the most wonderful broadcaster" whose "importance cannot be over-estimated" and added that "she was a trailblazer".

She said: "Her interview with Nuala O'Faolain was the best I have ever heard.

"She was a brilliant journalist, but was not interested in the celebrity side, she shied away from it."

The family trip comes after O'Callaghan enjoyed a hectic Christmas Day. The broadcaster played host, cooking the turkey dinner for her husband and eight children at their south Dublin home.

Eldest daughter Alannah also brought along her new husband, Fiachra Breathnach.

Despite now turning 60, O'Callaghan's lasting, youthful looks recently led to her becoming the target of fake beauty adverts.

The adverts, promoting skincare products, featured a photograph of O'Callaghan and tried to sell consumers an anti-ageing product, which they falsely claimed she had been using to maintain her youthful appearance.

The RTE star has previously said she doesn't worry about growing older on screen.

She said: "Far from worrying about it, I feel ageing is a real strength for me."

She added that she admires the careers of women such as Ellen DeGeneres, Barbara Walters, and Diane Sawyer who have stayed ahead of their game.

"I admire women like Ellen DeGeneres who is at the top of her game and can be for the next 25 years."

Sunday Independent

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