Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan (born 6 January 1960)[2][3] is an Irish television current affairs presenter with RTÉ. She has presented Prime Time since 1996, and her own summer Talk show, Saturday Night with Miriam, since 2005. In the summer of 2009, she began a radio show, Miriam Meets..., since replaced by live show Sunday with Miriam.

Miriam O'Callaghan
Born (1960-01-06) 6 January 1960
Alma materUniversity College Dublin
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[1]
Spouse(s)Tom McGurk (1983–1995)
Steve Carson (2000–present)
RelativesJim O'Callaghan (brother)
Dr Margaret O Callaghan (sister), Academic & Historian QUB :Kathleen O Callaghan (sister), Journalist

Early life

Her father, Jerry, was a senior civil servant in the Department of Energy. Her mother, also Miriam, was the daughter of a garda sergeant. O'Callaghan studied law at University College Dublin, where she also completed a post-graduate diploma in European Law.

She was the second child in a family of five. Her brother Jim is a member of the Fianna Fáil leadership team and a barrister.[4][5]

Her first television appearance was an advertisement for Avonmore Milk in the early 1980s that is available on the Irish Film Archive.

British career

Soon after qualifying as a solicitor in 1983, she moved to London with then husband, Tom McGurk, and applied for a researcher's job in Thames Television. She secured a position on This Is Your Life, then presented by Eamonn Andrews. She then moved onto researching current affairs programmes for Thames and in 1987, she left to train as a BBC producer in the BBC Television Centre in west London. As a producer, she worked on shows such as Kilroy, Family Matters and Prime Time, responsible for specials from Hong Kong and Jerusalem. O' Callaghan then joined the BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight as a reporter where she worked for ten years. While there she oversaw several high-profile investigative programmes, including one on the UDR 4 miscarriage of justice and another miscarriage of justice case about Kiranjit Ahluwalia. She also covered the Northern Ireland Peace Process for Newsnight. She has not ruled out a return to the BBC.[6]

RTÉ career

She was hired by RTÉ and returned to Ireland in 1993 to present Marketplace, an economics and business programme. She juggled working with the BBC and RTÉ at the same time and also worked on the debut series of the ITV show Tonight with Trevor MacDonald. From 1996, RTÉ secured her services exclusively as the presenter of Prime Time.

In 2005, she began the first series of her own summer talk show, Saturday Night with Miriam. O'Callaghan made her debut as a radio presenter on 11 July 2009 on the programme, Miriam Meets, to run for eight weeks.[7][8] It was confirmed in August 2009 that the programme would return permanently to RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday mornings.[9] In 2013, she stood in as a long-term replacement on RTÉ Radio One in the key daily morning slot from 9 am to 10 am when presenter John Murray was on extended sick leave. After this she was given a new live Sunday morning radio show on RTÉ Radio One from 10 am until 11 am.

At 10 am on 24 October 2012, she clicked a mouse in RTÉ NL's national control centre to bring to an end fifty years of analogue television transmission in Ireland.[10]

She flew direct to Luxembourg following the 2016 Brussels bombings and went on to Brussels from where she presented Prime Time that evening, with contributions from Prime Time reporter Robert Short.[11][12]

She features in the 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2001 programmes of Reeling in the Years.


She earned €307,000 in 2011.[13] Her work that year included fronting RTÉ's coverage of Queen Elizabeth II's state visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011,[14] and hosting the 12 October 2011 Prime Time TV debate with the seven candidates standing in the 2011 Irish presidential election.[15] Her treatment of Martin McGuinness resulted in more than 100 complaints to RTÉ.[16] She also did RTÉ's 50th anniversary party on New Year's Eve 2011, attended by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Jedward.[17][18]


Aside from her brother Jim being a leading member of Fianna Fáil, she was identified in the media as a possible Irish presidential candidate in 2010, though she was quick to deny her interest in the position.[19][20][21]

In 2018 she publicly declined to run for president of Ireland.[22]

Marriages and children

She has eight children.[23] Among those to model their mother/career-oriented lifestyle on that of O'Callaghan are fellow TV presenter Lucy Kennedy.[24]

She married her first husband in 1983 and they separated in 1995; she had four daughters at the time; Alannah, Clara, and twins Jessica and Georgia.[25] She met her current husband, Steve Carson, while working on Newsnight. In 2000, the couple married and set up their own television company, Mint Productions.[26] She has four sons with Carson.[25]


In 2003, she won the Television Personality of the Year Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards.[27]

She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) degree by the University of Ulster in Derry on 5 July 2011.[28]

In June 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by University College Cork.

She has won the RTÉ Guide Style Award.[29]


  1. "Biography". Miriam O'Callaghan.
  2. "Miriam O'Callaghan, Gráinne Seoige and Kathryn Thomas (2011)". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  3. "'I'm not 50 just yet, but who cares anyway?'". Evening Herald. 10 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012.
  4. "Tubridy told to stay away from his political brother". The Belfast Telegraph. 18 May 2009. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  5. "Fianna Fáil's negotiating team for government talks revealed". The Irish Times. 12 March 2016. Although a new Deputy, Mr O’Callaghan has been a member of the Fianna Fáil leadership team over the past five years in his role as the party's legal adviser.
  6. "Would I go back to the BBC? Never say never says much in demand Miriam O'Callaghan". Irish Independent. 9 August 2012.
  7. "O'Callaghan to present radio show". RTÉ Arts. RTÉ. 10 June 2009.
  8. "No babies or pressure to look good makes radio right for Miriam". The Irish Times. 10 June 2009.
  9. "O'Callaghan back on Sunday morning". The Irish Times. 17 August 2009.
  10. "RTÉ One analogue switch-off". YouTube. 24 October 2012.
  11. "The RTÉ Prime Time Brussels attacks special has got a lot of people talking". 22 March 2016.
  12. Miriam thanked Short at the end of the broadcast and mentioned her gratitude to him for having driven her and her producer from Luxembourg, as the airport in Brussels was closed because of the attacks.
  13. O'Connell, Hugh (27 March 2013). "RTÉ reveals stars' salaries: Ryan Tubridy was paid €723,000 in 2011, according to figures released by the State broadcaster this evening". TheJournal.ie. Archived from the original on 2 March 2015.
  14. Keane, Kevin (14 May 2011). "Broadcasters roll out big guns for visit". Irish Independent.
  15. "Miriam O'Callaghan ready for 'challenge'". RTÉ News. 12 October 2011. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011.
  16. "RTÉ treatment of McGuinness generates over 100 complaints". The Irish Times. 14 October 2011. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011.
  17. Sweeney, Ken (12 November 2011). "Miriam ringing in the new as she hosts RTÉ's 50th anniversary TV bash". Irish Independent.
  18. "RTÉ announces Christmas highlights". RTÉ. 28 November 2011.
  19. McBride, Caitlin (30 August 2010). "Me as President? 'Unexpected' says Miriam". Evening Herald. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012.
  20. Hayes, Cathy (30 August 2010). "Top TV presenter Miriam O'Callaghan denies Irish presidential run". IrishCentral.
  21. Butler, Laura (11 May 2015). "'I'm sure she'd do a good job' Pat Kenny backs Miriam O'Callaghan for Presidency". evoke.ie.
  22. Hilliard, Mark. "Miriam O'Callaghan will not seek nomination for presidency". Irish Times. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  23. "Miriam O'Callaghan". RTÉ. 22 June 2010. With that in mind, I wonder if the broadcaster be astonished to read a profile of her that didn't mention the fact that she has eight children? "I probably would", laughs Miriam, "because I read these articles and I think, 'does she really have eight children?' and then I realise it's me! Look, I'd say the nation is bored with the eight kids thing now. I accept that it's unusual but when I go down the country, the first thing people seem to talk about is the eight kids.
  24. Butler, Laura (26 November 2011). "I don't know how Miriam copes with eight, says mum-to-be Lucy". Evening Herald. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012.
  25. "Miriam 'over the moon' at having baby number eight at age of 44". Irish Independent. 25 September 2005.
  26. Site hosted by IE Internet
  27. "RTÉ's Mooney nominated for TV award". RTÉ. 25 August 2004.
  28. "University honours Miriam O'Callaghan". RTÉ. 5 July 2011.
  29. "Style-winner Miriam 'does not wake up wondering what to wear'". Irish Independent. 25 November 2012.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.