Eamonn Mallie on the secrets to a great interview and the moment he was left speechless

Veteran journalist Eamonn Mallie has revealed the secrets to a great interview and the skills he uses to keep audiences engaged.

Speaking on the UTV Podcast, the broadcaster also told of the moment that left him "speechless" during one televised interview, what motivated him to become a journalist and his least enjoyable interviews.

The presenter of programme Eamonn Mallie: Face To Face With... chatted with UTV's Carol Jordan in a wide-ranging interview about his career.

Speaking of how he prepares before sitting down with an interviewee, Eamonn said: "I always dig deeply, I talk to a lot of people, I read anything I can find about the individual, genealogy, background..."

Explaining how he keeps viewers compelled, he added: "If you have an opportunity to talk to the person before the interview... but you always have to have a few little things up your sleeve as well, elements of surprise because nobody ever knows what's coming next with me.

"I am a very unpredictable interviewer but above all, I am a listener. Somebody might say something hoping I wouldn't pick it up but I hear everything.

Eamonn Mallie and Carol Jordan.

"The great interviews are informed by good listening and you've got to listen.

"I always do my homework - I like to phone the person in advance..."

In the most recent instalment of Eamonn Mallie: Face To Face With... the broadcaster sat down with comedian Patrick Kielty.

During the interview there was a moment that left Eamonn "speechless".

He said: "We were discussing the killing of Patrick's father, and he said the body was taken away to the morgue, they were still 15 and 16, he and his brother, they had a record deck and a radio in their room and they turned on the radio and I was announcing the death of Jack Kielty, 45-year-old, Dundrum man.

"And he said it was only then that he considered the death of his father for real. I just went totally silent because, what was I going to say?

"Because no matter what I said, potentially it was going to lend to more grief and torment for my guest so I remained silent. It was an extraordinary moment."

On what motivated him to become a journalist, Eamonn stated: "Vanity, nothing more, nothing less."

He added: "I love pinning people down - I have no time for fools in public life."

You can watch the latest instalment of Eamonn Mallie: Face To Face with... Patrick Kielty here.

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