No babies or pressure to look good makes radio right for Miriam


SHE HAS been wanting to do it for years but, she says, having babies kept getting in the way.

After nearly two decades as one of the best-known television presenters in the country, Miriam O’Callaghan is finally going to present her first radio show.

The mother-of-eight will present Miriam Meets . . .on Saturday mornings at 9.10am on RTÉ Radio 1.

O’Callaghan says she will not be getting any extra pay for it. “It is relevant because I speak to people on Prime Timeall the time about job losses. I don’t want any more money for this. I’m happy with my package in RTÉ,” she said.

She was one of the first RTÉ presenters to volunteer a 10 per cent pay cut to help RTÉ cope with a projected €68 million deficit this year. She was the eighth highest earner in RTÉ in 2006, the last year for which figures were available, earning €221,383 through her production company Baby Blue.

The programme begins its eight-week run on Saturday, July 11th, and replaces Conversations with Eamon Dunphy, which O’Callaghan appeared on as a guest earlier this year.

O’Callaghan (49) is taking up the challenge as her youngest (and, she says, her last) child Conor is now three. She says she is looking forward to working without the pressure of having to look good for television.

“There is no visual distractions. From my point of view as a female presenter, I find that very liberating. All research shows that, if you are a woman on TV, people either spend the first five minutes praising or criticising what the presenter is wearing.”

Listeners will also be able to tune into her on Saturday Night with Miriamat 9.30pm on RTÉ television, which starts on Saturday next week.

“People will be really sick of me. My mother says, ‘You’ll be overexposed’,” she joked.