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Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan
Born (1960-01-06) 6 January 1960 [1]
Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Education Law
Alma mater University College Dublin (UCD)
Occupation Broadcaster
Employer Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Salary €302,000 (2008),[2]
€290,625 (2009),[3]
€307,000 (2011)[4]
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in )[5]
Spouse(s) Tom McGurk (1983 - 1995)
Steve Carson (2000 - present)
Children 8

Miriam O'Callaghan (born 6 January 1960)[1][6] is an Irish television current affairs broadcaster, chat show host and radio presenter with Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). She has presented the leading current affairs show, Prime Time, since 1996, and her own chat show, Saturday Night with Miriam, since 2005. In the summer of 2009, she began a radio show, Miriam Meets.... That has now been replaced by a live show Sunday with Miriam. O'Callaghan has eight children.[7]


  • Early life 1
  • British career 2
  • RTÉ career 3
  • Private life 4
  • Awards 5
  • References 6

Early life

O'Callaghan was born in Foxrock, Dublin, the second child in a family of five. Her father, Jerry, a senior civil servant in the Department of Energy, came from Currans, a small village outside Castleisland in County Kerry. He grew up on a small farm at Callaghan's Cross, where the young Miriam spent her childhood summer holidays. Her mother, also Miriam, was born in Ballylinan, a village in County Laois where her father was the local garda sergeant. Miriam Snr. became a primary school principal and taught her daughters at the local St. Brigid's National School in Foxrock.

O'Callaghan attended secondary school at the Sisters of Charity School in Milltown. She did her Leaving Certificate exams at the age of 16 and then studied law at University College Dublin, where she also completed a post-graduate diploma in European Law. She studied to be a solicitor at Blackhall Place, while articled to a solicitor's practice in Merrion Square.

British career

Soon after qualifying as a solicitor in 1983, O'Callaghan moved to London with her 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 subsequently 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 was responsible for a number of 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 during her years on the programme.

She has not ruled out a return to the BBC.[8]

RTÉ career

O'Callaghan was head-hunted 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. She continues to present RTÉ's Prime Time programme on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as budget and election programmes.

In 2004, she began the first series of her own chat show, Saturday Night with Miriam, during the summer months. O'Callaghan made her debut as a radio presenter on 11 July 2009 on the programme, Miriam Meets, to run for eight weeks.[9][10] It was confirmed in August 2009 that the programme would return permanently to RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday mornings.[11] In 2013 she stood in as a long-term replacement on RTE Radio One in the key daily morning slot from 9am to 10am when presenter John Murray was off on extended sick leave. After this O' Callaghan was given a new live Sunday morning radio show on RTE Radio One from 10am until 11am.

She earned €307,000 in 2011.[4] Her work that year included fronting RTÉ's coverage of Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011,[12] and hosting the 12 October 2011 Prime Time TV debate with the seven candidates standing in the Irish presidential election, 2011.[13] Her treatment of Martin McGuinness resulted in more than 100 complaints to RTÉ.[14] She also did RTÉ's 50th anniversary party on New Year's Eve 2011, attended by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Jedward.[15][16]

At 10:00am 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 the Republic of Ireland.[17]

Private life

O'Callaghan 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.[18] She met her present husband, Steve Carson, while working on Newsnight. In 2000, the couple married and set up their own television company, Mint Productions.[19]

O'Callaghan has four sons with Carson.[18] Her brother Jim O'Callaghan is a Fianna Fáil party Dublin City Councillor.[20]

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.[21][22][23][24][25] [26]


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

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

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


  1. ^ a b "Miriam O'Callaghan, Gráinne Seoige and Kathryn Thomas (2011)".  
  2. ^ "'"RTÉ's Miriam 'happy to take 30pc cut in pay. Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 17 June 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Pat Kenny highest paid RTÉ presenter in 2009". RTÉ News (RTÉ). 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b 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". Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "'I'm not 50 just yet, but who cares anyway?'".  
  7. ^ "Miriam O'Callaghan". RTÉ. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 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. 
  8. ^ "Would I go back to the BBC? Never say never says much in demand Miriam O’Callaghan". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 9 August 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "O'Callaghan to present radio show". RTÉ Arts (RTÉ). 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  10. ^ "No babies or pressure to look good makes radio right for Miriam". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  11. ^ "O'Callaghan back on Sunday morning". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). 17 August 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Keane, Kevin (14 May 2011). "Broadcasters roll out big guns for visit". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "'"Miriam O'Callaghan ready for 'challenge. RTÉ News (RTÉ). 12 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "RTÉ treatment of McGuinness generates over 100 complaints". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Sweeney, Ken (12 November 2011). "Miriam ringing in the new as she hosts RTÉ's 50th anniversary TV bash". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "RTÉ announces Christmas highlights". RTÉ. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  17. ^ YouTube. "RTÉ One analogue switch-off". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ a b "Miriam 'over the moon' at having baby number eight at age of 44". Irish Independent. 24 November 2012. 
  19. ^ Site hosted by IE Internet
  20. ^ "Tubridy told to stay away from his political brother". The Belfast Telegraph (Independent News & Media). 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  21. ^ "Miriam O'Callaghan emerges as contender for presidency". Sunday Tribune. 
  22. ^ "Me as President? 'Unexpected' says Miriam". Evening Herald (Independent News & Media). 
  23. ^ "O'Callaghan dismisses Presidency story". RTÉ. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "O’Callaghan rules herself out of presidential running". Irish Examiner (Thomas Crosbie Holdings). 
  25. ^ "Top TV presenter Miriam O’Callaghan denies Irish presidential run". IrishCentral. 
  26. ^ "’ I’m sure she’d do a good job’ Pat Kenny backs Miriam O’Callaghan for Presidency". 11 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "RTÉ's Mooney nominated for TV award". RTÉ. 25 August 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2004. 
  28. ^ "University honours Miriam O'Callaghan". RTÉ. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  29. ^ "'"Style-winner Miriam 'does not wake up wondering what to wear. Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 25 November 2012. 
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