Speakers Profile - Donal MacIntyre










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Donal MacIntyre was born in Dublin in 1966. He and his twin brother are among five children of an Irish playwright and American-born teacher. He grew up in Ireland and was active in sport, playing rugby and representing his country in canoeing at world championship level. Donal's highest world ranking was 12th.

His first work in television was for the award winning BBC series On-The-Line in 1993. At one stage, for this programme he went undercover as an Adventure Sports Instructor to expose the lack of employment standards in the industry. This was in the wake of the Lyme Regis canoeing disaster in which four people drowned. Then, again using undercover tactics he investigated cruelty in greyhound racing in Ireland. For this programme he won awards in both Ireland and the U.S.A. and seven people were convicted of animal cruelty. He then moved from the BBC to ITV's World in Action.

He was to win two Royal Television Society Awards for a film on drug dealing by night-club bouncers. For this programme he spent 11 months undercover as a bouncer in Nottingham and received three death threats after the programme was broadcast. MacIntyre Undercover was screened in November 1999 and was the culmination of almost two years research by MacIntyre and his team. The series covered organised football violence, the fashion industry, abuse within care homes and Nigerian con men. The programme's greatest triumph was the closing down of a care home and a direct change in government policy towards restraint procedures in care establishments. In addition, this series led to a month long trial of two Chelsea football hooligans, secretly filmed by the programme, who were subsequently convicted of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and affray. They were sentenced to seven and six years respectively.

Donal then went on to present the second series of MacIntyre Investigates on BBC1, having also presented Wild Weather on the BBC and BBC Worldwide. Now as the ‘Face of Factual' on Channel Five, Donal has been fronting major specials such as Credit Card Fraud, and MacIntyre UK - Undercover and a number of other new series on Five, including MacIntyre's Millions, as well as developing other projects for UK and foreign broadcast. He is currently producing and directing a 90 minute documentary special for Five.

Amongst his many other accolades, Donal has written an ‘on-the-hoof' diary account of his journey as one man leading four lives, which was published by the BBC alongside the airing of his program. He writes regularly for the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and the New Statesman. From his various programs, he has emerged as a leading campaigner for the learning disabled and the elderly and is an ambassador for MENCAP and ACTION on elder abuse.