My Life In Media: Dermot Murnaghan

'Wearing see-through clothing in front of an audience of several million, with Terry Wogan in the background, is pretty embarrassing'

Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan, 50, presents Sky News Today every weekday morning. A decade ago his interview with Peter Mandelson on the ITN Lunchtime News prompted the minister's resignation. Murnaghan joined Sky last year after five years on the BBC Breakfast sofa and is enjoying the opportunity to spend more time with his four children. He is a cycling addict and often bikes the 32-mile round trip between north London and the office. He is married to Maria Keegan, also a journalist.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

Watching a lot of television news when I was a kid. I remember being transfixed by the first moon shots and Alastair Burnett and his team analysing Apollo 13 falling apart. In a way they were the prototype for today's rolling news.

When you were 15, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

I lived in Northern Ireland so we got the Belfast Telegraph and I used to read that.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I remember watching Civilisation, the huge BBC series. It was one of those grand things they used to do, a 13-part documentary by Lord Clark. Apart from that, I enjoyed things like Alias Smith and Jones.

Describe your job.

As the presenter of Sky News Today I try to prepare as much as I can for four hours of non-stop rolling news. By and large anything can happen in news in the course of a morning.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

Radio 4. It's always been my radio station choice and it's useful to listen to in the car.



Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I look through as many of the papers as I can bear to read and then check the wires and various websites when I arrive at work. At the moment I'm particularly focused on the American elections and look at a lot of politics websites. I cram as much as I can into my little head as any bit of knowledge is useful when you're involved in rolling news. It might buy you another 30 seconds until you get more information on something that has just come up.



What do you tune into when you get home?

Quite a lot of news, sadly. I watch a bit of Sky News at home, the BBC News at Six and I'm keen on Channel 4 News. I watch Summer Heights High on BBC3 with my eldest daughter. It's a very bizarre but very funny Australian programme and an acquired taste. Professional cycling on ITV4 is my kind of relaxation TV.



What is the best thing about your job?

Just being involved in current affairs is a rare privilege. Politics and economics rock my boat. I have access to Cabinet ministers, and the great thing about Sky News Today is that there's nobody in your ear saying "You can't ask that".



And the worst?

I suspect if I won the lottery I would give up work, but in the absence of that it's a great job.



How do you feel you influence the media?

That's for other people to judge but there is a symbiotic relationship between different forms of media. If I get something out of somebody, I know somebody else will report it. Equally, I listen to the radio in the morning and read the papers, and then do things on Sky News which I know will be on in other newsrooms. I think I have a pretty unusual position having worked for three major broadcasters in the course of my career.



What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

I hope that anyone I've come into contact with over the course of my career I've treated fairly and that their views were represented fairly. I've seen people in the media being rude to members of the public. You've asked for their time which they've given willingly, and therefore you should pay them back accordingly. Without people watching and listening we don't exist.



And what's your most embarrassing moment?

There have been far, far too many. The one that is still on YouTube these days is one of my sequinned dancing moments for BBC Children in Need. Wearing see-through clothing in front of an audience of several million, with Terry Wogan in the background, is pretty embarrassing.



What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

An impossible question because I get such a great pile. In terms of must-gets, it's The Sunday Times, The Observer and probably the Mail on Sunday. I read The Week and Private Eye.



Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

I'm in the really fortunate position of having started early and I'm pretty satisfied right now. One of my first memories of watching television news is of the News at Ten. To be presenting it 30 years later was my "look at me" moment.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Walter Cronkite is the all time great. Our own much under-appreciated character is Alastair Burnett. It was one of the greatest privileges of my career to overlap with him by about six months when I first joined ITN.

Dermot is taking take part in Sky Sports London Freewheel, traffic-free cycling www.london.gov.uk/freewheel, this Sunday



The CV

1984: Starts as a reporter on the Coventry Evening Telegraph, leaving for Channel 4's The Business Programme

1988: Joins the European Broadcasting Company

1989: Back to Channel 4 as presenter of the Channel 4 Daily

1992: Moves to ITN as a presenter

1998: Scoops the Royal Television Society 'Interview of the Year' award for the Mandelson interview

2002: Becomes the face of BBC Breakfast

2003: Begins presenting Treasure Hunt

2007: Poached by Sky to present Sky News Today

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star