Dubliner Miriam O’Callaghan, who has enjoyed phenomenal success as a television and radio presenter on both sides of the Irish Sea, is to receive the degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of her services to broadcasting.
Voted Ireland’s favourite TV Presenter at the IFTAs (Irish Film Television Awards), Miriam is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most highly respected broadcasters. At sixteen, she accepted a place to study Law at UCD, went on to qualify as a solicitor and complete a Diploma in European Law before beginning her media career as researcher with Eamonn Andrews for ‘This Is Your Life’. She worked as a producer with the BBC before landing a role in front of the camera on the BBC European-based youth show, ‘Extra’. This drew her to the attention of BBC2’s ‘Newsnight’ production team and she spent the next eight years as a reporter with the flagship news and current affairs programme, reporting regularly from Northern Ireland.
Miriam was headhunted by RTE in 1993 to front ‘Marketplace’, an economics and business programme and subsequently signed an exclusive contract to present ‘Primetime’ for RTE 1. Since 2005, she has forged a career as a television and chat show host with the popular ‘Saturday Night with Miriam’ series and the successful ‘Miriam Meets’ series on RTE Radio 1. She has presented the Leaders’ Debates for the national broadcaster during the last four Irish general elections.
With her husband, Belfast born Steve Carson, who is now Director of Programmes with RTE, Miriam established Mint. The award winning television production company was responsible for many documentaries and series, including one off films on the racehorse Shergar and on historical and political figures such as PÃ¡draig Pearse, Michael Collins, Charles Haughey and Bertie Ahern. Most recently she championed the case for John Hume, the former leader of the SDLP and Honorary Professor of University of Ulster, in RTE’s ‘Ireland's Greatest’ series. Her television documentary made a compelling case for the Nobel Laureate who was named ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ ahead of historical and contemporary figures such as Michael Collins, James Connolly, Mary Robinson and Bono.