Gráinne Seoige (pronounced: “Gron-ya Show-ig-eh”, born 5 November 1973 in An Spidéal, County Galway) is an Irish television presenter, Gaeilgeoir, and “fashion icon”.
Gráinne is one of the few television presenters who has worked for all terrestrial channels in the Republic of Ireland at some point. She has worked as a news anchor on TG4, TV3 and Sky News Ireland. Seoige has since joined RTÉ where she co-presented afternoon chat show Seoige for three years alongside her sister Síle. Other high-profile roles for the broadcaster have included presenting The All Ireland Talent Show, co-presenting Up for the Match and hosting television coverage of the People of the Year Awards. Seoige currently is the ‘Features Editor’ on ITV’s breakfast show Daybreak.
Seoige is the only news anchor to have presented the inaugural news bulletins on two Irish terrestrial stations, TV3 and TG4, and she is the first television personality to have worked with all four Republic of Ireland television stations; TG4, TV3, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two.
Educated at Mercy Convent in her native Spiddal, Gráinne graduated with honours in English, Sociology and Political Science from University College Galway before completing a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications for Television and Radio, also at University College Galway (now known as National University of Ireland, Galway).
Seoige began her career on Halloween, 31 October 1996, with the launch of Teilifís na Gaeilge (now TG4) anchoring the 10pm news bulletin with Gillian Ní Cheallaigh. She stayed there until 1998, when she moved to the then recently launched TV3 and presented TV3’s 5:30pm News (also known as First Edition) and 6:30pm News with Alan Cantwell. Seoige also hosted News Tonight, as well as producing, writing and presenting news updates throughout the day. She was also the presenter of Ireland AM, Ireland’s only breakfast programme.
Seoige moved to Sky News Ireland and presented news there after unexpectedly resigning from TV3 by faxing her employer from Thailand on 15 January 2004, though her contract required her to serve an extra two months. In February 2006, she began presenting overnight bulletins on Sky News (which is often called the “graveyard shift” because of the low amount of viewers it gets). From the end of the week beginning 6 February, she presented Sky News Today from 9am to 12pm, filling in for the regular presenters (including Martin Stanford who presented Live at Five for a while during Jeremy Thompson’s break from work), Anna Botting and Anna Jones.
In 2006, Seoige moved back to Ireland full time and became a presenter with RTÉ. RTÉ announced her arrival on 5 May 2006 and she appeared on Tubridy Tonight the following night to discuss her move.
As well as presenting the People of the Year Awards in 2008, she co-presented RTÉ’s Up for the Match specials in September of the same year, alongside Des Cahill. In September 2010, she returned to her role as host of the annual People of the Year Awards, and the 2010 editions of Up for the Match.
She presented the daily magazine show Seoige with her younger sister Síle. However, after only one season together, RTÉ dropped the show leaving both sisters “very shocked”. Seoige’s axing was blamed on “financial necessity” by RTÉ. The last episode was broadcast on 24 April 2009, the Friday after the Tuesday on which the axing had been both announced and revealed to the sisters. The Irish Independent’s Roddy O’Connor predicted the imminent demise of both sisters after the axe was wielded.
In 2009 Seoige began presenting The All Ireland Talent Show on Sunday evenings. Her new role was announced by RTÉ on 6 November 2008.
She has a clause in her contract allowing her to work elsewhere when she is not presenting for RTÉ.
In March 2010 Seoige reported on the Cheltenham Festival for British breakfast programme GMTV alongside Dan Lobb. The following month Gráinne returned to GMTV to present the sports news while regular host Lobb was away. Presenter John Stapleton was heard to mispronounce her name as “Granya Soudja”.
Her popularity led to suggestions she would co-present GMTV with Adrian Chiles.
On 20 July 2010 Seoige was confirmed as Features Editor on ITV’s new morning programme Daybreak from September 2010. She appeared on the show’s opening day, interviewing people about green issues in the gardens of Prince Charles’ Clarence House. She has also reported from Delhi on preparation and welfare issues in the build-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Regarding her image, Seoige admitted that “the ice queen thing” as she referred to it had not crossed the Irish Sea and that the show’s male anchor Adrian Chiles was having some difficulty pronouncing her surname.
In 2002, Seoige married former colleague and long term partner Stephen Cullinane who worked as sports editor at TV3 News and founded production company Touchline Media Ireland. She has a teenage son named Conall (from a previous relationship) whom she protects from the media spotlight.
On 1 June 2010, it was announced that Seoige and Cullinane had separated after an 11-year relationship. She made her first public comments on the split several months later, calling it “a really tough time”.
Despite physical similarities she is not related to TG4 presenter Róisín Ní Thomáin.
TV3 was reported to have paid her a wage of €40,000, whilst Sky News offered her a wage of €70,000.
Gráinne is the Patron of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) and in her spare time she follows Gaelic football, hurling and English Premier League soccer.
In 2004, Seoige was a winner at the VIP Style Awards.
In 2010, she was nominated for the Oireachtas Media Award.