Donal MacIntyre

Donal MacIntyre (born 25 January 1966) is an Irish investigative journalist, specialising in investigations, undercover operations and television exposés.

Donal MacIntyre
Donal MacIntyre.jpg
MacIntyre at Birmingham City University in November 2013
Born (1966-01-25) 25 January 1966 (age 54)
Dublin, Ireland
Notable credit(s)
WebsiteOfficial website

The risks of repeatedly going undercover have meant that MacIntyre has increasingly turned to presenting on films where his colleagues have undertaken the undercover work. He has also branched out into more traditional presenting roles, on weather phenomena and wildlife documentaries on the BBC and Channel 5. In 2007 he directed A Very British Gangster, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. From April 2010, MacIntyre presented ITV's local news show London Tonight, departing after only a few months after taking up the post.[1]

In 2009, MacIntyre took part in the fourth series of Dancing on Ice, where he was runner-up to Ray Quinn. In 2014, he participated in the first series of The Jump where he was runner-up to Joe McElderry.

MacIntyre currently fronts the CBS Reality documentary series Donal MacIntyre: Unsolved, which looks at unsolved cases such as abductions and murders, that MacIntyre and his team try to shed new light upon.

Early lifeEdit

MacIntyre is a twin and one of family of five children. His older brother Darragh is also an investigative journalist.

He was educated in Dublin and London, and completed a master's degree in Communication Policy at City University, London.[2]


After graduation he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Sunday Tribune and later with The Irish Press in Dublin, covering finance, sports and news. He undertook his first investigative reporting into the Law Society investigating allegations of restrictive practises. He then wrote similar investigative articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Sunday Express and the New Statesman.[2]

MacIntyre began his television career at the BBC on the investigative sports strand On-The-Line in 1993. In the wake of the Lyme Regis canoeing disaster in which four school children drowned, his canoeing experience made him the natural choice to investigate the incident and the safety culture that had allowed it. He went undercover as an Adventure Sports Instructor to expose the lack of employment standards in the industry. This investigation led to the development of MacIntyre's distinctive investigative reporting style, which he explained as being present for the story, rather than merely reporting accounts of it:[3]

I think print can be very reactive. It just means getting on the end of a phone and getting a quote. For TV it doesn't happen unless it's filmed and that means you have to be there. Our particular brand is called Show Me television - we don't tell you, we show you.

The first series of MacIntyre Investigates for the BBC caused some controversy when it was accused of falsifying video evidence and blackmail during its expose of the Elite modelling agency. The BBC was sued for defamation, avoided court through a settlement, and issued a statement admitting that MacIntyre had misrepresented the agency in his programme, but that they stood by him.[4][5]

Towards the end of his second series of MacIntyre Investigates for the BBC, he came under more open criticism from internal sources. The three programmes were suggested to have cost as much as £2.5 million, while an episode of Panorama by contrast typically cost £100,000 to £150,000. In return, BBC One's then controller Lorraine Heggessey expected MacIntyre Investigates to deliver the ratings, a pressure that other investigative journalists believed undermined its editorial integrity.[6]

In 2007, MacIntyre set out to create a documentary because he wanted to "do a Michael Moore for gangsters," in penetrating a world of super-rich villains who enjoy a life of luxury with no legitimate means of support: "It was interesting to make a 180-degree turn from my covert-reporting heritage and have full access. I wanted to build a bond."[7]

The resulting production became a film with the title A Very British Gangster which centred on the life of Manchester based gangster and hit man Dominic Noonan, whose brother Desmond Noonan was stabbed to death during filming. MacIntyre directed the anti-smoking commercials for the SMOKE IS POISON campaign. This series included the Polonium commercial that the British Government banned out of sensitivity to the family of the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko who was killed using the substance.[citation needed]

From 6 April 2008[8] MacIntyre has presented a weekly radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live.[9]

In June 2009, both he and his wife, Ameera de la Rosa (who was suffering from a brain tumour at the time) were attacked and beaten at the Cloud 9 wine bar in Hampton Court in what is believed to have been a revenge attack, linked to the prosecution of Jason Marriner and other Chelsea hooligans in the 1999 documentary.[10]

In 2010, MacIntyre briefly co-hosted ITV1's local news show London Tonight, stepping down after just 6 months in the post.[11]

He writes for Sunday World and is a now Visiting Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University in which capacity he has been a panelist on the Crime Bites Podcast.[12]

Dancing on IceEdit

In 2009 he took part in the fourth series of the television series Dancing on Ice. He and his pro-skating partner Florentine Houdiniere were the runners up.[13]

The JumpEdit

MacIntyre took part in the first series of Channel 4 reality series The Jump in 2014.

At the beginning of the show on the third day, competitor Henry Conway had to pull out of The Jump due to injury during training for the Skeleton. MacIntyre along with Joe McElderry had been training as standbys, and that one of them would join the competition to replace Conway. They both had to complete a live ski-jump, with the celebrity jumping the furthest joining the competition. They both jumped from the K24, the medium-sized jump, with Joe McElderry jumping 15.0 meters and MacIntyre jumping 11.5 meters meaning that McElderry joined the competition to replace Conway.

On the fourth day, competitor Melinda Messenger had to pull out of The Jump due to injury during training for the Bobsleigh. MacIntyre would take her place from the fifth night (30 January 2014).

After facing "the jump" a number of times throughout the series, MacIntyre claimed second place on The Jump in the final on 3 February 2014. He lost out to Joe McElderry, who won the series.


  1. ^ The Guardian, 25 August 2010, 'Donal MacIntyre quits London Tonight' Retrieved 26 August 2010
  2. ^ a b "Donal MacIntyre". City Speakers International. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Interview with Donal MacIntyre". BBC. 2 May 2002. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Sex, lies and unused tape: How the BBC's model inquiry went wrong". 12 June 2001.
  5. ^ "BBC settles with model agency over sex claims". 12 June 2001.
  6. ^ Rowan, David (8 May 2002). "Evening Standard: Donal MacIntyre profile". Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  7. ^ Lee, Marc (8 December 2007). "Donal MacIntyre: 'The difficult thing is to leave with clean hands'". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Donal MacIntyre joins 5 Live". BBC Press Office. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Donal Macintyre". BBC Radio Five Live. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  10. ^ "'Not even my wife's brain tumour stopped thugs beating us in Chelsea revenge attack' reveals TV's Donal MacIntyre" The Daily Mail, 19 June 2009; Retrieved 5 October 2009
  11. ^ "Donal Macintyre to be Katie Derham's partner on London Tonight". This is London. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Dancing on Ice voting". ITV. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2013.

External linksEdit