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Guy Patrick Bennett O'Connell (born 11 March 1966 in Guildford, Surrey, England), better known as Paddy O'Connell is an English television and radio presenter of Irish descent, working mainly for the BBC.

He presents BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme each Sunday morning. He is also an occasional presenter of Radio 4's PM programme. O'Connell is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Contents

Education

Paddy O'Connell was educated at Gresham's School, an independent school in the small town of Holt, Norfolk, England, and at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Career

Patrick O'Connell began his broadcasting career in 1989 on the BBC's local radio trainee scheme, leading to five years spent as a BBC local radio reporter in Devon, Essex and Cleveland. He then joined BBC Radio Five Live at its launch in 1994, before moving to the USA to present BBC World Service's The World programme, also broadcast on WGBH, a radio station in Boston. O'Connell has also presented and reported for a range of other radio stations across the world, including in Australia and Canada.

In 1997, O'Connell became BBC News' North America Business Correspondent and Wall Street anchor, based in New York. He appeared regularly on BBC World, BBC News 24 and BBC One news bulletins reporting on and presenting business news. He was the main US-based anchor for the BBC's World Business Report programme, on BBC World and News 24, on which he became well-known for his laid back but incisive style, and deadpan delivery.

O'Connell was in New York at the time of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 - he was actually due to attend a meeting inside the World Trade Center on that day. He reported from the scene of the attacks just hours later, interviewing survivors in the aftermath, and anchored the BBC's coverage from the scene that evening.

He stayed in New York for a further 2 years following the 11 September 2001 attacks, but left the US, and the BBC, in 2003. He then did a variety of freelance work, including a wide range of work for the BBC.

He fronted a wide range of news and entertainment shows on the corporation's youth-orientated digital channel BBC Three. He presented Celebdaq, a show based around a celebrity stock exchange, allowing Paddy to mix his vast business knowledge with his interest in all things showbiz. He also worked on Liquid News (replacing the late Christopher Price as its main presenter), presented the one-off Flashmob - The Opera and was a main anchor on the offbeat current affairs show BBC Three News.

Alongside these BBC commitments, O'Connell was also a regular presenter on London's LBC 97.3 radio station.

Current TV and radio work

O'Connell currently works on a wide range of BBC TV and radio programmes. He presents the weekly BBC Radio 4 irreverent Sunday morning news review strand, Broadcasting House. He joined the programme full-time in 2006, having previously covered for its former presenter Fi Glover while she was on maternity leave.

He's also an occasional presenter of PM on BBC Radio 4, standing in for regular host Eddie Mair.

On TV, O'Connell was a regular presenter of the daily BBC Two business news programme Working Lunch - he anchored the show every Friday and occasionally at other times, presenting alongside Adam Shaw or Nik Wood. He joined the programme in 2003, and since then produced a number of special reports alongside his presenting duties. He left the programme on 26 September 2008, ahead of a relaunch with new presenters.

He also appeared regularly on BBC Breakfast, presenting the programme's business news segments from the London Stock Exchange, filling in for regular business reporter Declan Curry.

As well as news and business programmes, O'Connell continues to dabble in both light and prime-time entertainment programmes. Since 2004, he has commentated on the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals on BBC Three. He also presents various behind-the-scenes segments at the main final of the contest, shown on BBC Three and BBC Red Button.

Paddy also presented the weekday evening TV quiz show Battle of the Brains on BBC Two, before being replaced by Nicky Campbell.

In 2009, O'Connell began reporting periodically for The One Show on BBC1.

Further information

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