Ruth O’Neill has opened up about leaving her job as co-host of TV3’s Xposé.
The budding presenter was living in New York, where she had moved after working for E! News in LA, when she was offered the Xposé role.
Ruth was originally called in for maternity leave cover, but she ended up working for Xposé for a full year before she called it quits.
On moving home to Dublin, Ruth told the Sunday Independent, “It was hard to adjust after living away for so long. And I was living with my parents, which was weirdly nostalgic.”
“Xpose is five to six days a week. A lot of weekends. A lot of evenings. I had no social life.”
On eventually deciding to leave the show, Ruth said, “It was something I was thinking about for a while.”
“That was a full-time TV job. It’s exactly the kind of work I’d been working towards. There are loads of opportunities on Xpose to do big interviews, and travel.”
She explained, “It was more of a personal choice. For all of my 20s I was focused on work, career, ‘I have to do this because of my career’. That always came first. I just came to a stage where I was like: ‘I want to put myself first’.”
The 30-year-old now lives in London, and has turned her focus to blogging and YouTube.
“The industry is changing rapidly, so I wasn’t fixated on only doing TV. In London a lot of the presenting jobs go to reality stars. I have zero interest in doing reality TV,” she said.
“I reflected on what it was I loved about the job. I loved connecting with people, and communicating. I can do that with the blog, or YouTube. I never wanted to be famous. But people find that hard to believe. They’re like ‘oh you work in entertainment’, obviously everyone in entertainment wants to be famous.”
She continued, “With the blog I have control of my own narrative, my own image. With YouTube I have my own voice. I love the creative mix. I’ve always worked for other media companies. Now I’m getting to do what I want to do.”
She gushed, “I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. My mum has been saying to me for years, even in LA, I think you should do your own thing. And I was just so, I suppose fixated on one goal, and one thing.”
“But the industry has changed so much. And I realised that what I was doing wasn’t for me anymore. I couldn’t understand – ‘how am I in my dream job and I’m not happy? What is wrong. What is missing?'”
“The industry is ruthless. It’s just so competitive. And I’m not a competitive person. With the blog, it’s just me. I don’t want to put huge pressure on myself again; I’m taking my time with it again. I’m doing it because I enjoy it.”
Ruth moved to London for a career change, but also for love – as her boyfriend Conor Murphy, who’s an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, was living over there.
She explained, “We did long distance. He was living in London; he’s from Kildare. We met on a night out, super randomly. And then we were doing long distance for about six months.”
“So then when I was planning on leaving Xpose, I thought: ‘Do I move back to LA, do I move to New York, should I give London a go? He was like: ‘If you move to LA… We’re already doing long distance to London’,” she added.