James O'Brien (journalist)
|Born||James Edward O'Brien
13 January 1972
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
|Occupation||Journalist, television/radio presenter|
James Edward O'Brien (born 13 January 1972) is a British journalist, television and radio presenter who is one of the presenters on talk station LBC, presenting on weekdays between 10am and 1pm, hosting a phone-in discussion of current affairs and news, views and real-life experiences.
O'Brien was educated at the independent Ampleforth College and the London School of Economics. Politically, O'Brien has been described as "coming from the left" and sometimes describes himself as a "champagne socialist".
Prior to his broadcasting career, O'Brien was an editor of the Daily Express gossip column written under the pseudonym William Hickey, and has had work published in Cosmopolitan and The Spectator. In 2015, he published a book on attitudes about immigration, Loathe Thy Neighbour.
With his wife, Lucy (McDonald) O'Brien, he fronted Channel 5's 2001 general election talk show 5 Talk, securing a review from Clive James, who wrote: "James, in particular, is a pink-shirted walking encyclopedia of political savvy". O'Brien and wife Lucy have occasional weekend and Bank Holiday phone-ins for LBC. Other regular appearances include: Sky News, The Big Questions (BBC One), and The Alan Titchmarsh Show (ITV).
O'Brien first appeared on LBC during 2002 as a holiday cover presenter. His own weekly programme began in January 2003 and he became a full-time presenter in 2004. Regular features of his show include the "Mystery Hour", in which listeners phone in with various things that puzzle them and other callers attempt to give a solution.
O'Brien made national headlines in April 2009 when footballer Frank Lampard phoned his show to object strenuously to tabloid stories about his private life and O'Brien's discussion of them. Lampard's former fiancée, Elen Rivas, had alleged that Frank Lampard had turned their home into a bachelor pad while she and Lampard's children were living in a rented flat. Lampard phoned in, objecting to the assertion that he was "weak" and "scum" and said that he had fought "tooth and nail" to keep his family together. Public comments on Lampard's reaction praised Lampard's "brave" and "articulate" handling of the situation. The exchange later earned O'Brien, who defended his conduct in an equally heated exchange with Kay Burley on Sky News, a Bronze Award in the Best Interview category of the 2010 Sony Radio Academy Awards.
In 2015, O'Brien presented his own ITV chat show called O'Brien which aired for ten episodes in a daytime slot before it was cancelled.
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- Bland, Archie (24 March 2015). "LBC's James O'Brien: 'You have to be a bit more sledgehammer than scalpel on TV'". theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
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- "Loathe Thy Neighbour". Amazon.com. 1 May 2015.
- "A Knight with O'Brien (TV series) | BFI". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- "Clive James on (election) TV". The Independent. 2001-05-30. Retrieved 2009-04-25.[permanent dead link]
- "Media Monkey's Diary: TV writers, Eddie Mair, Gardeners' Question Time". The Guardian. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Newsnight's Race To Succeed Jeremy Paxman: LBC's James O'Brien Gets A Try-Out". Forbes. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Frank Lampard's call to LBC: The full transcript". The Independent. 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- "Sony Radio Academy Awards 2010 - Best Interview Nominations". Sony Radio Academy. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Incorrigible Forever (26 July 2016). "James O'Brien vs hate crime in schools" – via YouTube.