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- This page is about the television journalist. For others of similar name see Donald MacIntyre
25 January 1966
|Notable credit(s)||World In Action
Street Crime Live
At Home with the Noonans macintyre's toughest towns
|Spouse(s)||Ameera (2006-present; three children)|
|Children||Tiger-Lily, Allegra and Hunter|
Donal MacIntyre (born 25 January 1966, Dublin) is an Irish investigative journalist, specialising in investigations, undercover operations and television exposés. His work is in the area of care homes for the elderly and the learning disabled. He has won awards in the UK, France, Spain and Ireland for his work, but his style has also brought some detractors, from traditional journalists and among some people whose activities he had revealed.
The risks of repeatedly going undercover have meant that MacIntyre has increasingly turned to presenting on films where his colleagues have undertaken the undercover work. He has also branched out into more traditional presenting roles, on weather phenomena and wildlife documentaries on BBC TV and Five. In 2007 he directed the Sundance Film Festival premiered A Very British Gangster. From April 2010, MacIntyre presented ITV's London Tonight local news show, departing after only a few months after taking up the post. Donal will present a new documentary At Home with the Noonans about the lives of the infamous Noonans gang. It will premier on 22 April on Crime & Investigation Network UK.
Early life 
Born on 25 January 1966 in Dublin, as one of a pair of twin brothers, his father Tom is an Irish writer and his American mother is on the Irish film board. One of five children, the family were brought up by their mother in Celbridge, County Kildare, after his father left in 1970.
MacIntyre was a sportsman, playing rugby union and representing Ireland in canoeing at the World Championships, where his highest world ranking was 11th. He raced around the globe from Australia to Portugal, and won many Irish and British titles at various levels. He was also a member of two Irish Olympic training squads but failed to make the games because, in his own words he "simply wasn't quick enough".
Newspaper journalist 
After graduation he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Sunday Tribune and later with The Irish Press in Dublin, covering finance, sports and news. He undertook his first investigative reporting into the Law Society investigating allegations of restrictive practises. He then wrote similar investigative articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Sunday Express and the New Statesman.
MacIntyre began his television career at the BBC on the investigative sports strand On-The-Line in 1993. In the wake of the Lyme Regis canoeing disaster in which four school children drowned, his canoeing experience made him the natural choice to investigate the incident and the safety culture that had allowed it. He went undercover as an Adventure Sports Instructor to expose the lack of employment standards in the industry. This investigation led to the development of MacIntyre's distinctive investigative reporting style, which he explained as being present for the story, rather than merely reporting accounts of it:
I think print can be very reactive. It just means getting on the end of a phone and getting a quote. For TV it doesn't happen unless it's filmed and that means you have to be there. Our particular brand is called Show Me television - we don't tell you, we show you.
After shooting other documentaries for the BBC including Taking Liberties, he moved to ITV to work for the acclaimed World In Action series. MacIntyre received two RTS journalism awards for his 1996 investigations for World In Action into the links between drug dealers and the private security firms who control night-club doors. MacIntyre lived for 11 months in character, adopting a new name and identity to win the confidence of the criminals he wanted to film.
Given his own series MacIntyre Undercover on BBC One, the series was first shown from late 1999 but had been in production for two years. The series covered his exploits among a gang of football hooligans, the Chelsea Headhunters; in care homes for vulnerable people; and in the world of model agencies received widespread publicity. It proved to a major hit and was to transform investigative journalism on television subsequently, by forcing more traditional programmes to improve production values to attract a younger audience.
In 2000, Jason Marriner, a member of the Chelsea Headhunters was sentenced to six years in prison for his part in organizing a fight with supporters of a rival team, based on evidence captured by Donal MacIntyre and his team. MacIntyre was placed under Police protection during the trial. It was the first significant victory against the hooligan fraternity since the flawed attempts at undercover work by the Police ten years previously, in the ill-fated own goal trials. MacIntyre also secured convictions against members of Combat 18 who were later to daub his car with their insignia and force the reporter to move home.
MacIntyre's expose of conditions inside a Kent care home resulted in the closure of one institution and the cautioning of two people for five offences of assault. The Sunday Telegraph subsequently claimed that the programme had been unfairly edited, quoting members of the Kent Police who had investigated the home in the aftermath of MacIntyre's programme. The Kent force subsequently admitted they had libeled the reporter, withdrawing their criticism and paying him costs and damages. MacIntyre has used this case to campaign for MENCAP and Action Against Elder Abuse. He has made three more programmes on this issue since his controversial hit show on BBC1.
Towards the end of his second series of MacIntyre Investigates for the BBC, he came under more open criticism from internal sources. The three programs were suggested to have cost as much as £2.5 million, while an episode of Panorama by contrast typically cost £100,000 to £150,000. In return, BBC1's then controller Lorraine Heggessey expected MacIntyre Investigates to deliver the ratings, a pressure that other investigative journalists believed undermined its editorial integrity.
The risks of repeatedly going undercover have meant that MacIntyre has increasingly turned to presenting on films where his colleagues have undertaken the undercover work. MacIntyre joined Five at the start of 2003, where his work has won further praise and awards, particularly for his Underworld Strand which has put some of the UK's most feared criminals under the spotlight. Unable due to his fame to go undercover, MacIntyre decided to get close to the very criminals he once exposed covertly, resulting in 13 programmes. MacIntyre later presented Street Crime Live.
In 2007, MacIntyre set out to create a documentary because he wanted to "do a Michael Moore for gangsters," in penetrating a world of super-rich villains who enjoy a life of luxury with no legitimate means of support: "It was interesting to make a 180-degree turn from my covert-reporting heritage and have full access. I wanted to build a bond."
The resulting production became a film with the title A Very British Gangster which centred around the life of Manchester based gangster and hit man Dominic Noonan, whose brother Desmond Noonan was stabbed to death during filming. MacIntyre intends to make more such films, focusing on other high-net-worth criminals, and has since directed the award winning anti-smoking commercials for the SMOKE IS POISON campaign. This series included the banned Polonium commercial that the British Government banned out of sensitivity to the family of the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko who was killed using the substance.
MacIntyre is a keen sportsman and has represented Ireland at Championship level in canoeing with a top world ranking of 11. He has used this background to branch out into adventure and travel presenting. His Wild Weather series for the BBC has been broadcast around the world and his recent series Edge of Existence for Five saw him live with tribes around the world from the Sea Gypsies of Borneo to the Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea. He brought the Insect Tribe back to live with his family in London for 'Return of the Tribe' for Five which was regarded as a sensitive and charming experiment in reverse anthropology.
On 5 January 2009, it was announced on This Morning that MacIntrye was taking part in the new series of Dancing On Ice. He found himself in the bottom 2 on the 1st week and was saved by the judges. As the weeks went on he built up more confidence and had been the most improved skater of the series causing him to become extremely popular with the public. He ended up in the final along with Jessica Taylor and Ray Quinn. In the final he went through the final two, knocking Jessica out of the competition, performed the bolero and battled it out with Quinn. Donal took second place which was a "huge shock" to him as he was one of the least known celebrities on the show and his improvement caused him to receive overwhelming support from the public.
In June 2009, both he and his wife, Ameera de la Rosa (who was suffering from a brain tumour at the time) were viciously attacked and beaten at the Cloud 9 wine bar in Hampton Court in what is believed to have been a revenge attack, linked to the prosecution of Marriner and other Chelsea hooligans in the 1999 documentary.
In 2010, MacIntyre briefly co-hosted ITV1's local news show London Tonight, stepping down after just 6 months in the post. He also appeared as a guest on the birdwatching show Bill Bailey's Birdwatching Bonanza.
Donal will present a six-part documentary At Home with the Noonans following members of the notorious family the Noonans, offering an insight into their daily lives and battles with the Manchester police. First broadcast will air 22 April on Crime & Investigation Network UK.
Personal life 
In July 2006 Donal married Ameera de la Rosa at Slane Castle in Ireland. They have three children.
- The Guardian, 25 August 2010, 'Donal MacIntyre quits London Tonight' Retrieved 26 August 2010
- "Donal MacIntyre". City Speakers International. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "Interview with Donal MacIntyre". BBC. 2 May 2002. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- Rowan, David (8 May 2002). "Evening Standard: Donal MacIntyre profile". Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- Lee, Marc (8 December 2007). "Donal MacIntyre: 'The difficult thing is to leave with clean hands'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "Donal MacIntyre joins 5 Live". BBC Press Office. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "Donal Macintyre". BBC Radio Five Live. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "'Not even my wife's brain tumour stopped thugs beating us in Chelsea revenge attack' reveals TV's Donal MacIntyre" The Daily Mail, 19 June 2009; Retrieved 5 October 2009
- "Donal Macintyre to be Katie Derham's partner on London Tonight". This is London. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- Macintyre.com Donal MacIntyre's website
- Donal MacIntyre at the Internet Movie Database
- Donal Macintyre at BBC Radio Five Live