herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

I walked in and asked RTE for a job - Tracy Piggott

Tracy Piggott
Tracy Piggott

Sports presenter Tracy Piggott has revealed that she walked into RTE and asked for a job - without any experience.

And it was Jonathan Irwin, the former stud owner and founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation, who inspired her to go for it after she won a race at Leopardstown when she was a jockey in her early 20s.

"He said to me, 'Have you ever thought about working in television or radio?' I hadn't at all - it hadn't entered my head, but he planted this seed," said Tracy.

"A few days later when all the fuss had died down, I thought about the direction I wanted to take and I remember him suggesting that and, as you do in your early 20s, I thought I'd look into it and see what it was like.

"I made my way to the RTE Sport Department and asked if the Head of Sport was there.

"They asked if I had an appointment and I said no. It was total naivete."

However, the state broadcaster decided to give her a chance.

"Tim O'Connor came out of his office and brought me in and after discussing any experience I had, which I didn't, he said we'd maybe leave it for a while and he'd come back to me on it," Tracy (48) said.

audition

"About six months later I bumped into him at Punchestown and he said, 'We were only talking about you in a meeting yesterday and we've decided to give you a go'.

"Lo and behold, I had an interview. He said, 'We're going to give you an audition at the Curragh in May', which would have been the following month."

That chance meeting led to a varied career in sports journalism.

"One interview led to presenting work in horse racing, in show jumping, the Olympics - a baptism of fire - then rugby," she told Woman's Way magazine.

When it comes to her dreams for the future, Tracy - the daughter of legendary jockey Lester - said she would love to do personal interviews with sports stars.

"I like doing kind of one-on-one interviews," she said. "I'd often had the idea of speaking to a person who is out of their particular sport but had great success in it in their heyday. That would be fun."

hnews@herald.ie

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