Saturday 23 March 2019

Dark side of Murphy's life revealed in show

BEHIND THE CAMERA: Broadcaster's hard childhood

GLITTERING CAREER: Murphy <b>Photo:</b> RTE

Former RTE broadcaster Mike Murphy is to reveal the intimate details of his life and career in a two-part documentary planned for RTE1 next week.

He has agreed to return to the small screen for this frank portrait of a man who captured the hearts of Irish audiences during his broadcasting career.

The Lives of Mike is an in-depth documentary of a man who began his career as a radio announcer and went on a lengthy television and radio career.

It tells of his difficult and challenging journey where he constantly reinvented himself and how he had to come to terms with his poor relationship with his father.


Mike moved with apparent ease from comedy sketches and iconic candid camera inserts for The Live Mike to establishing himself as one of RTE's most popular arts broadcasters, while also setting up one of Ireland's first independent television production companies.

The first programme in this two-part documentary charts his childhood and his parents' unhappy marriage, which created a strained and silent atmosphere at home, punctuated by bitter rows in which Mike frequently intervened.

The result was a terrible relationship with his father, filled with resentment and, in later years, regret. His inauspicious school years led to his early foray into the workplace, but also provided the initial platform for Mike's talents on the stage.

The documentary takes viewers through Mike's progression from struggling stage actor to his early days as a presenter on Radio Eireann and his subsequent break into television, leading to the hugely popular show, The Likes of Mike.

Archive footage highlights Mike's most memorable performances, while candid interviews explore the deeper, and sometimes darker, elements that made up The Lives of Mike.

From his home in Florida, he reflects on the motivations that drove his many incarnations and how he came to terms with his relationship with his father.

Contributors to the first programme in this two-part documentary include Eamon Morrissey, David Kelly, Terry Wogan and Brendan Balfe

The first programme will be broadcast on Tuesday, October 28 on RTE1 at 10.15pm.

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