Exclusive – Claire Byrne opens up to us about women on tv: “Gender shouldn’t matter”

The tv star told us that it shouldn't matter what sex you are

Claire at yesterday's launch |Damien Eagers
Claire at yesterday’s launch |Damien Eagers

Tv presenter Claire Byrne has responded to sexism in the tv business, saying gender should not be considered a factor.

VIP met the host at yesterday’s RTE One programme launch and asked her about what it’s like to be a woman in Irish media. It recently emerged that sponsorships for programmes fronted by women such as Miriam O’Callaghan and Claire are half than that of shows hosted by men, but the 40-year-old says a person’s sex simply should not be considered.

“I don’t think in terms of men and women,” she said. “I know that’s probably ill-advised, but I was brought up in a household where regardless of your gender, you could do whatever you like.

Una Foden and Claire yesterday | Damien Eagers
Una Foden and Claire yesterday | Damien Eagers

“That’s how I’ve always operated. I’ve never thought of myself as a woman in broadcasting. I’ve always thought of myself as a person in broadcasting.”

She added: “I think people should be given positions and platforms based on merit and talent as opposed to gender.”

Claire also told us she always wanted to get involved with broadcasting, although in the early days she planned to be a foreign correspondent in news.

All the ladies | Damien Eagers
All the ladies | Damien Eagers

She now, of course, is best known for co-presenting RTE’s The Daily Show from 2010 to March 2012, and in 2013 she became an anchor on RTÉ’s flagship current affairs programme Primetime.

In November 2014 it was announced that she would have her own current affairs show “Claire Byrne Live” which went live on RTE One in January 2015.

At the launch yesterday, it emerged that the mum-of-one will return for her show on Mondays again this season.

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