Jim Dougal

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Jim Dougal
Born James Dougal
19 March 1945 (1945-03-19)[1]
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died 15 October 2010(2010-10-15) (aged 65)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality Northern Irish
Occupation Broadcaster, writer, journalist
Years active 1969–2010

James Dougal (19 March 1945 – 15 October 2010) was a Northern Irish journalist, writer and broadcaster who had worked, from 1969 until shortly before his death for RTÉ, UTV and the BBC.


An alumnus of St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Belfast and a former civil servant, Dougal's career as a journalist began at BBC Northern Ireland as a general reporter. He also worked at Ulster Television before taking up the post as Northern editor at RTÉ from 1974 to 1991.

Dougal returned to BBC Northern Ireland in 1991 as the station's political editor, replacing Denis Murray upon his promotion to Ireland Correspondent for the corporation's network news bulletins. Dougal's reports were featured on Inside Ulster and Newsline. In February 1996, Dougal was appointed as the new co-presenter of BBC Northern Ireland's relaunched evening news programme Newsline 6.30.

Dougal stood down from presenting the programme after just two months to concentrate on reporting.[2][3]

European Commission[edit]

Dougal left the BBC in 1997 to take up a job for the European Union, initially based in Belfast. He later became the head of the European Commission for the United Kingdom until 2004.[4]

Return to journalism[edit]

In 2006 Dougal returned to broadcasting by presenting and producing The Eternal Optimist, a documentary about the former Church of Ireland Primate of All Ireland Robin Eames. He formed a part of UTV's presenting team for the station's coverage of that year's Northern Ireland Assembly election in March 2007.

Dougal, who ran his own broadcast company Dougal Media, also presented and produced a UTV documentary entitled Paisley, from Protest to Power charting the life of Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley – the programme aired on the day Paisley took up office in Northern Ireland alongside Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

He continued to work as a broadcaster, writer and media affairs and public affairs consultant until his death on 15 October 2010 at the age of 65 from cancer.[4]


Dougal was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen's University, Belfast for services to the community in Northern Ireland.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Profile, Researcha.com; accessed 4 June 2017.
  2. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "TV faces flock to Kincora book launch", belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 23 April 1996; accessed 17 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Present twists on Newsline's presentation", belfasttelegraph.co.uk; 6 May 1996; accessed 17 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Veteran broadcaster Jim Dougal dies". BBC News. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.