Denis Tuohy

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Denis Tuohy (born 2 April 1937,[1][2] Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a television broadcaster, actor, newsreader and journalist.

Tuohy attended Queen's College, Belfast, where he learned to debate and acquired an interest in acting.[3] In 1960, he appeared in Over the Bridge, a play written by Sam Thompson and directed by Jimmy Ellis.[3][4][5] Later that year, Tuohy became the first Catholic broadcaster for BBC Northern Ireland.[6][7]

Tuohy moved to London in 1964 to work for the new BBC-2.[6] At the channel's launch that April, he was scheduled to be the first face on air.[6] However, there was a disastrous power failure on the opening night, and 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, sarcastically referencing the power cut by beginning the show under candlelight, then blowing out a candle on his desk.[8]

Tuohy 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). He interviewed Margaret Thatcher in the leadup to the 1979 United Kingdom general election.[6][9] Communication specialist Geoffrey Beattie analysed the interview extensively in a work on patterns of interruption in conversation.[10][11] During the 1990s, he was mainly known for his work as a reporter for ITN.[citation needed]

After retiring from broadcasting, Tuohy took up acting again, playing roles in the television dramas Fair City, The Clinic, and Fallout.[3] He also wrote a memoir, Wide-eyed in Medialand: A broadcaster's journey.[6][12]


  1. ^ McIlwaine, Eddie (1 April 2017). "Why no one can hold a candle to my pal, birthday boy Denis Tuohy". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Happy Birthday Denis Tuohy, 75". The Times. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c O'Connell, Brian (4 June 2006). "Broadcaster returns to first love". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  4. ^ Moriarty, Gerry (4 April 2014). "Bridge honouring playwright Sam Thompson opens in east Belfast". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  5. ^ Foy, Marie (31 May 2005). "'It's a slightly daft world'". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Fallon, Ivan (29 May 2005). "Wide-eyed in Medialand: a broadcaster's journey By Denis Tuohy". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Making a breakthrough, Denis Tuohy". Chronicle: the story of BBC News in Northern Ireland.
  8. ^ "The day the lights went out". The Irish Times. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  9. ^ Butler, David; Kavanagh, Dennis (1980). The British General Election of 1979. Springer. p. 216. ISBN 9781349047550.
  10. ^ Beattie, Geoffrey W. (1982). "Turn-taking and interruption in political interviews: Margaret Thatcher and Jim Callaghan compared and contrasted". Semiotica. 39 (1–2). CiteSeerX doi:10.1515/semi.1982.39.1-2.93.
  11. ^ Beattie, Geoffrey W. (2 October 1980). "...but why can't they converse normally?". New Scientist. Reed Business Information. pp. 35–36.
  12. ^ Wide-eyed in Medialand: A broadcaster’s journey, by Denis Tuohy, Blackstaff (2005)


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