RTÉ’s Claire Byrne calls time on TV show with final episode to air next week

Claire Byrne on the set of TV show Claire Byrne Live. Photo: Conor McCabe

RTE presenter Claire Byrne is calling time on her weekly current-affairs TV programme to focus on her radio show and family.

Claire Byrne Live will come to and end after seven years and broadcast its final episode on Monday next week, RTÉ has announced.

Byrne recently spoke about her heavy workload “taking its toll” as she was busy presenting across TV and radio.

She told the RTÉ Guide last year that she didn’t want to have regrets like Gay Byrne, who said he had wished he had spent more time with his family.

“I need to ask myself how I want to live my life. I’m not embarrassed to say it’s taking its toll on me. Of course I realise I’m in a really privileged position.

“I’m doing a job I love and I’m well paid for it, but I’m not being honest if I don’t say it’s exhausting or that I’m not seeing enough of my children.

“The children hate when I leave on Monday afternoon as I usually try to get home after the radio show for a couple of hours.

“I try to rationalise it by saying that lots of mammies and daddies have to work every night and this is just one night.

“And because Claire Byrne Live is performing so well in its time slot, the final decision will most likely be mine. That’s the crossroads I’m at.”

Claire Byrne Live was home to interviews, debates, and contributions from thousands of audience members who chose to tell their story each week.

In a statement issued by RTÉ today announcing the end of the TV series, Byrne said: "When we started Claire Byrne Live in 2015, we wanted it to be a forum for people in Ireland to shape the news, respond to unfolding events and most importantly, to have their say. We came through two general elections, two hugely significant referendums and one global pandemic in the time that we have been on air.

"I have been hugely proud to be part of this show for those years and I have been humbled to work alongside three talented editors of Claire Byrne Live - Aoife Stokes, Jane Murphy and Hugh Ormond, not to mention the small, hard-working team that made sure we got to air every week, despite the massive challenges posed by the pandemic in the last two years.

"I have made the decision now to focus on my radio show and I am very much looking forward, in time, to working on other television projects for RTÉ.

"I want to thank everyone who made Claire Byrne Live such an enjoyable show to be part of and in particular, the audience at home, who allowed me to spend Monday nights in their company over the last seven and a half years."

Jon Williams, managing director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, paid tribute to Byrne and the programme.

"For seven years, Claire has hosted Ireland’s biggest conversation, giving the audience a voice on the key issues of the day. From her extraordinary interview with the family of Clodagh Hawe, to the drama of the Leaders’ Debates in two general elections and breaking news throughout the pandemic, Claire Byrne Live has shown that current affairs can be both popular and engaging. I want to thank Claire for a truly remarkable run."

Byrne will continue to present Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 and will also work with RTÉ on future television programmes.

Today's Headlines

More News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos