No ordinary day for Donal

by Gazette Reporter

INVESTIGATIVE journalist and documentary maker Donal MacIntyre can often find himself in tricky situations when delving into the underworld so there’s never a dull moment throughout the day.

The alarm clock isn’t always set at the same time for MacIntyre who spends his days balancing work with his beloved wife, Ameera, and three children.
“I tend to get up quite early, 5.30am or 6am and do a bit of work when all the kids are asleep. I love a bit of instant Nescafe in the morning – I live and breathe on that.
“Then when the youngest starts to stir, I run up to the room, we play a bit of hide and seek and he gets his milk, and in his own words (he’s just three), a squeeze and a snuggle.
“It really is a fantastic start to the morning. Then you get the older kids ready for school, feed the cat and dog, bring them to school and then it’s back home to do either a day of research from the phone or go out filming.
“When we are filming, dealing in the area of criminals, if you are filming with ex-criminals who are coherently unreliable and lead chaotic lives, you basically have to build in a great deal of latitude in a day.
“You don’t say, right, 12 o’clock we are there and if you are not there – well.
“We have to have a lot of contingency for that and inevitably a lot of it ends up with you being surrounded by Starbucks coffee, eating crisps on the run and making phone calls.
“It’s chaotic. In the end your car ends up like an archaeological dig with notebooks, phones, keys, cords – the modern journalist on the road… but in the end it looks reasonably polished on air but it’s like a sausage factory – a bit messy but we get there,” he laughed.
“One day I could be doing a story about a hit-man, I could be meeting a wonderful grandmother bringing up kids, we could be meeting heroin addicts, with young kids at the Cherry Orchard equine centre or out getting beaten up or attacked on Sheriff Street. We have no idea what is going to happen,” he said.
Once home, it’s playtime with the kids and then some TV boxset catch-ups.
“I am there with Peppa Pig, then it’s the Simpsons and Modern Family. Or I am taking the seven-year-old swimming, or when I am across the water [the UK] we would go see ice-hockey.
“I also work at a university as a criminology lecturer so I always have paperwork or academic work to write or papers to catch up on.
“There is never enough time… but I don’t take laptops to bed.
“I do on the other hand take my iPhone and occasionally watch Netflix, like House of Cards or Mad Men. That’s usually it,” he said.
MacIntyre’s new documentary series, Breaking Crime, continues on TV3, Mondays at 9pm.

Related Articles