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In The Prime Time Of Her Life
Current affairs anchor – and Ireland's leading ‘yummy mummy’ according to the tabloids – MIRIAM O'CALLAGHAN talks about the challenges of raising eight children, her past marital woes and taking a pay cut at RTÉ.
Jason O'Toole, 10 Aug 2009
Did you meet your first husband, Tom McGurk, over there?
No, I met him in Dublin. I had just turned 20. I was in UCD. I got married when I was 22. He was going to London. I think he just wanted to leave Dublin, and I went with him.
Both your husbands are from Northern Ireland. Do you have a thing for Northern men?
I don’t know! I think it’s just a coincidence, actually.
When you got married the second time, you already had four children...
When I met Steven he was 26. I’m eight years older than him, so I was 34. And I had, yeah, four young kids. The joke was that he was a Newsnight producer living in a bedsit and all his mates would go, ‘What?! You’re going out with Miriam, and you’re moving to Dublin, and she’s got four kids?’ Obviously, it was a lot to take on. He was very mature. And he remains very mature. He is fantastic. And this is – how many years? – 14 years later.
Did he have doubts when you first told him you had four children?
He never had doubts. He is quite extraordinary. Genuinely. I’m madly in love with him.
Because I can imagine it could be quite difficult starting a relationship with someone who has four children.
Yeah, I would assume most men would run away, to be honest. But he loved me, thank God. I mean, he clearly did, because he is still there. And they get on great.
You once commented that your biggest regret was the break-up of your first marriage.
I got married at 22. It’s very young. I was a baby and sadly it didn’t work out. None of my generation got married at 22. I was too young and I was immature. I’m really blessed because I have had a second chance and I have a great second husband. And you can even see from my kids, if you look at them – I only get snapped at the odd premiere, and I don’t do VIP spreads – that they’re happy and they’re great. I think once kids are secure, it turns out well.
I saw a photograph this morning: you’d all attended the Harry Potter premiere together.
They look happy, don’t they?
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