Denis Tuohy

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Denis Tuohy (born 2 April 1937) is a television broadcaster, actor, newsreader and journalist who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and now lives in County Down. He participated in several of the BBC's current affairs programmes of the 1970s, including the long-running Panorama, and also presented ITV's This Week (known for a period of the 1980s as TV Eye). During the 1990s, he was mainly known for his work as a reporter for ITN.

Tuohy's most notable contribution to broadcasting history, however, was his early involvement with the BBC Two channel and in fact his was the first face to appear "officially" on BBC Two. As the result of a disastrous power failure on the opening night, newsreader Gerald Priestland was seen briefly before transmission was aborted and the official launch postponed until the day after. Tuohy headed the successful second attempt, however, sarcastically referring to the power cut by blowing out a candle on his desk. This image has since become an iconic piece of British television, frequently shown on TV history and nostalgia programmes.

Margaret Thatcher considered that an interview she had with Tuohy in the course of the 1979 general election campaign was the most hostile she ever experienced. While Tuohy was a familiar face to television viewers his interviews were direct but not typically aggressive.


  • Wide-eyed in Medialand: A broadcaster’s journey, by Denis Tuohy, Blackstaff (2005)