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TV3's Alan goes from signing off to signing on

HE may be weighing up a move to US or British broadcasters, but news anchor Alan Cantwell is drawing the dole for now.

Alan (44) quit the station where he made his name after 14 years.

The TV3 presenter said that he has already met with several organisations both here and abroad.

But in the meantime, Alan has decided to sign on at his local social welfare office -- although he is hoping that he won't have to draw his first payment, which is due on March 13.

Unemployed Alan has opened up about joining the "most over-subscribed club in the country".

He said that the experience at the Dun Laoghaire Social Welfare Office was intimidating and the last time he was there was as a teenager signing up for a FAS course.

"I remember it looked like a gulag from the outside, and was little better on the inside," he said.

"In 30 years, little has changed from the outside, apart from a coat of paint and new signage."

He said that inside the office, the experience is not as bad, and he said that the counters were like "confessionals, cocooned from prying eyes."


"I am a fully signed up member. I am due my first payment on March 13. Hopefully it won't come to that," he wrote in an open article

Alan stepped down from his role at TV3 saying that after 14 years he felt he had achieved everything he had set out to do.

The newsman said that the decision was a natural move for him and came as he reaches a milestone age this year.

"I'm turning 45 in June so I felt that I could stay for another 10 or 15 years, or I could set out and try to fulfil my potential," he said.

Alan said that his wife Denise is wholly supportive of his decision and his children Charlotte (10) and Harriet (seven) are young enough to be free to make the move.

The former INN news editor said he was open to the idea of moving back to radio, which he said remains his true favourite medium.

Alan visits the States at least once a year and admitted that it would be a natural move for his family.