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Spotlight On: TV presenter and weatherman Deric Hartigan

Deric Hartigan is always putting a smile on people’s faces, whether he’s on-screen or off.

The TV presenter and weatherman is’s Spotlight On cover star for May, and in this exclusive interview he opens up about his longstanding career, becoming a viral sensation, dealing with grief, and so much more.

Having worked at Virgin Media Television, formerly TV3, for almost 20 years, Deric has long been a familiar face on our TVs.

Deric Hartigan pictured at The Gossies 2024 | Brian McEvoy

As Ireland AM’s roving reporter, the Limerick native is constantly on the go, filming at locations across the country every week.

Whether he’s reporting the weather in very windy conditions, taking a dip in an ice cold lake, or trying out a brutal new sport – it’s safe to say Deric is willing to partake in anything.

His no holds barred attitude to trying new things has lead to some hilarious viral moments over the years, from being dragged up an artificial ski lift, to getting wrapped up (literally) in Christmas tree netting.

However, his most iconic TV moment had to be in 2017 when he was nearly blown away by an umbrella while delivering a weather update on live television.

The clip went viral worldwide, and still gets played on blooper reel shows to this day. 

It also gained Deric a new legion of fans, including one very famous Hollywood star, which he tells us more about in this interview.

Having grown up on a farm in Inchmore, Co Limerick, Deric has always been a lover of the great outdoors.

Aside from his broadcasting career, he is an accomplished triathlete, environmentalist, and all round adventurer. 

Over the years, Deric has been lucky enough to incorporate his passions into his TV work, having filmed documentaries in Africa and India, focusing on humanitarian issues.

Over the course of his 20 year career, Deric has proved he can tackle both serious and silly topics, while remaining his light-hearted and entertaining self.  

Often dubbed “the best thing on Ireland AM”, Deric’s dedication to his work paid off back in March when he won the award for Best Male TV Presenter at The Gossies 2024, which he described as a night he’ll “never forget”.

However, the win was bittersweet for Deric, as he dedicated his award to his late mum Marie, who sadly passed away in May 2022. 

In this exclusive interview, the presenter opens up about dealing with such a devastating loss, and how his colleagues have helped pick him back up ever since.

Deric also shares his hopes for the future, and whether that includes a main anchor role on Ireland AM someday…

Read our full chat with Deric below:

Deric you have been in the industry a long time now, but some people may not know how you started out. Could you take us back to the beginning and explain how you first started out in the industry, and how you got to where you are today?

“I’ve been working with Virgin Media Television twenty years this year & its been a rollercoaster two decades with the broadcaster who in fact celebrate 25 years of public service broadcasting this year.

“I started off by learning everything from the ground up; behind the scenes from gallery output to broadcast production to lighting, cameras and sound desk to becoming a full time weather anchor and nationwide reporter.

“I’ve learnt a lot about the industry and how television works over the past while so this has greatly assisted me in becoming a more accomplished on air broadcaster.”

Was presenting something you always wanted to pursue?

“I actually wanted to be a dentist growing up but I always had a creative streak in me entertaining audiences during my college years at the infamous Bunratty Castle banquets in Co.Clare.

“It was from there that spring boarded me into the world of entertainment, media and television.”

Muireann O Connell and Deric Hartigan with their awards at The Gossies 2024 | Brian McEvoy

You have had some hilarious viral moments on TV over the years, do you have a favourite?

“There has been a few alright; some clangers but all in the name of fun and light-hearted banter of course!

“The infamous umbrella moment went world-wide at the time with millions of hits and streams online. I’m now a regular on blooper shows across the planet!

“Hollywood & Startrek actor William Shatner reached out to me at the time and we’re still in regular contact.”

Do you have a least favourite/most embarrassing moment?

“I don’t take myself too seriously! Working on Ireland AM there are times when I have to switch modes from light-hearted to serious depending on the subject or item matter but all-in-all I never really get embarrassed!

“You can never predict what going to happen on live TV so I just go with the flow!”

Being a well-known face in Ireland can attract some negative attention, do you experience a lot of trolling online or do you count yourself lucky?

“Thankfully, I never get trolled. People are exceptionally decent and respectful towards me. I’ve got a wonderful online community of over 200k followers across all my social platforms and I interact with them on a daily basis and have done for the past 20 years.

“I call them my ‘online family’ and they are always hugely supportive. I don’t tend to focus on negativity; only positive interactive content.

“There’s enough bad news in the world; so I try where and when I can to bright some positivity to people’s lives from inspiring people on their fitness journeys to highlighting environmental progress that we are making in the fight against climate change.”

You seem like such a positive person. Do you feel pressure to act a certain way when you meet people out in public?

“I would always make time for fans, followers or viewers alike. I never feel under pressure to perform as I’m a people person to my core.

“I was brought up to be well-mannered and polite; so I think it’s so important to make the effort to give people time and make them feel special; even if it’s only for a few minutes. Manners costs nothing!”

As a roving reporter you seem to be constantly on the go. Do you ever suffer from burnout?

“I manage my time quite effectively and try to reduce stress when I can.

“People see the stunning locations on air across the country each and every day but behind the scenes; a lot of production and effort goes into bringing good quality content to their screens.

“TV doesn’t just happen, it takes an organised and dedicated team to pull it all together. Ireland AM produces 21 hours of live television every week, so I’m blessed with a superb research and executive team alongside my talented outside broadcast producer that work together cohesively to make it all happen.”

While Deric is beloved for his roving reporter role on Ireland AM, the Limerick native stepped into the studio to host the main show back in December. 

After making his anchor debut, viewers called for him to be made a full-time host on the programme, as they branded him “brilliant” on social media. 

With another in-studio stint planned for this month, Deric won’t rule out a main anchor position on Ireland AM in the future…

You made your anchor debut on Ireland AM in December. Would you love to host the main show full-time someday?

“I really enjoyed having some studio time last December with Elaine Crowley and I’m back in with Martin King and Gráinne Seoige on the weekend team in May for another stint.

“I do enjoy working on the road, but who knows what’s in store for the future!”

You won the award for Best Male TV Presenter at The Gossies in March, which was voted by the public. What did that mean to you?

“It meant so much to me! After twenty years of honing my craft in the industry; I’m most definitely not an overnight success!

“You have to graft hard and work hard; it’s the same really in any workplace environment. I love my current role working in television because I get to make such a positive impact in small communities.

“I broadcast from local towns and village right across the country each and every day; all thirty two counties including the off-shore islands.

“I get to meet great people doing great things. I really relish playing my part in giving local voices and regional stories a national platform.”

Picture Brian McEvoy

During his acceptance speech at The Gossies, Deric dedicated his award to his late mother Marie.

She sadly passed away on May 13th, 2022, following a battle with MS.

The broadcaster was devastated by her death, and was supported by his work colleagues, particularly the close knit team on Ireland AM. 

You mentioned your lovely mum in your speech, who sadly passed in 2022. How are you coping with that grief now?

“It’s difficult. Grief comes in waves and you never really get over such a huge loss in your life but you do learn to deal with it.

“I’m coping better now. The emptiness eases but unfortunately the pain never really goes away.”

I’m sure losing your mum is the toughest thing you have ever been through. How did you go about returning to normal life after such a devastating loss?

“My work colleagues in Virgin Media Television and in particular the Ireland AM team have always been extremely supportive from day one.

“Normal life does resume and go on but I’ve learnt coping mechanisms to help deal with my grief when it does arise.”


You’ve landed some huge opportunities since finding fame on TV. What’s the highlight of your career to date?

“I enjoyed my stint on Ultimate Hell Week with the Special Forces Unit. It was a completely fresh challenge which properly forced me out of my comfort zone.

“I survived almost to the end until a broken rib forced me out. It literally was a week of hell; survival of the fittest but I made great friends for life out of that experience!

You seem to be very content in your career right now, but is there still something you’re hoping to achieve? 

“I’m particularly passionate about both environmental and humanitarian issues.

“I filmed both a documentary and a series reports in both Uganda, Africa and Kolkata, India a few years back pre-covid so I’m keen to do more; possibly combining the two with a focus on the impact of climate change, sustainability, green energy and how people and habitats are both adapting and overcoming environmental challenges here at home and abroad.”

You dipped your toe into reality TV when you appeared on Ultimate Hell Week in 2021. Would you like to do more reality TV?

“It’s about finding the right project and the right fit. I’m always open to opportunities. Never say never!”

Deric appeared on Ultimate Hell Week in 2021

While Deric is usually up for anything, he does have his limits when it comes to reality TV.

For example, appearing on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother would be more hellish than Ultimate Hell Week, according to Deric, but he wouldn’t rule out a hosting gig on the show. 

Instead, the Limerick native would prefer to take part in a challenging series like Dancing With The Stars, but the producers haven’t come knocking on his door just yet…

I feel like you would be brilliant on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother, would you consider a stint on CBB?

“Not my vibe! In fact, I couldn’t think of anything worse; cooped up in a box for a month or two. I’d lose my mind! I’d host it but that’s about it!”

Surely the producers of Dancing with the Stars have been in touch. Could we see you vying for the glitterball troph in the future?

“No they haven’t yet but it would be exciting challenge.

“A few people have mentioned it to me but to be honest, I actually don’t know where I’d find the time with 4am starts and a packed schedule broadcasting from every part of the country!”

And my final question, where do you hope to see yourself five years from now?

“I don’t have a five year plan; I simply take each week as it comes! I’m working in an industry that I love and a job that I enjoy so anything else after that is a bonus!”


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