By James, Saturday 29th June 2013
Donal MacIntyre: Murder in Paradise June 30th on CBS Reality at 9pm will re-examine the murder of Michaela McAreavey whilst on honeymoon in Mauritius last year, an event which continues to make headlines across the world, in the UK and back at home in Northern Ireland where the couple lived.
Here, Donal chats about his career, filming this unmissable documentary and plans for the future.
CBSR: When did you decide that you wanted to be an Investigative Journalist?
DM: As with most things it was an accident. I started out as a young sports reporter while at school and then as an Irish International canoeist I was brought in to go undercover exposing safety problems in the activity holiday industry after six children died while canoeing. Someone decided that I was good at that undercover investigations and the work followed me.
CBSR: What was the first case you worked on?
DM: I exposed abuse in the greyhound industry and drug doping in horse racing but my big break came when I spent a year undercover in a major drug gang in Nottingham. It was for World In Action, on ITV1, and it made my name. I later befriended the drug dealer I exposed and did another film with him this time overt and he said to me " It was reckless of you employers to put you in that situation.
CBSR: How did you approach the tragic case of Michaela McAreavey?
DM: It was such an extraordinary story that it is nearly a magnet for curious journalists from around the globe. I was keen to talk to the people on the ground and to leave the emotion behind. So as no one had been caught and there was a great deal of controversy surrounding the case I felt that it would be fertile territory for me and I was confident that we would be able to make some fresh progress.
CBSR: It must have taken hours and hours of research, how often to you check and re-check the new facts and evidence you uncover?
DM: It is always a constant stream of checking and reassessing our evidence.
CBSR: What is the most startling fact that you uncovered about her murder?
DM: The fact that the Police wiped nearly all the CCTV evidence by accident was the most shocking fact I discovered.
CBSR: Did you encounter any problems whilst filming?
DM: I have to say that the Hotel and the Mauritian people were very friendly and supportive.
CBSR: How do you switch off at the end of working on something like this?
DM: I go onto another project.
CBSR: So what projects are you working on at the moment?
DM: That would be telling but hopefully you will be seeing the product of our new work pretty soon.
CBSR: Donal MacIntyre, thank you very much
Donal MacIntyre: Murder in Paradise June 30th on CBS Reality at 9pm.
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