Ireland AM’s Alan Hughes praises new recruit Muireann O’Connell as ‘more changes on the way’ in Virgin Media

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Alan Hughes has praised his co-presenter Muireann O’Connell and said she’s settling into her new role at Ireland AM “really well”.

The Limerick star swapped the evening shift on The Six O’Clock Show to move to breakfast TV last month.

Alan, who’s been on the show for 22 years, told RSVP Live that he, Muireann and other co-presenter Tommy Bowe are having “such a great laugh”.

“You’d think she’s been there for years because she’s settled in so easily,” gushed Alan. “It’s a big change, to come from the evenings to start doing mornings, and it will take a while, to adjust your whole body to that type of routine.

“You never get used to it, I’ve been doing in 20 years and I never get used to it.”

Muireann is a new arrival to the team along with Elain Crowley, who is co-presenting with Simon Delaney on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Their transfer to the show came amid a big shake up in Virgin Media, that saw big names like Laura Woods and Anna Daly leave the station.

However, Alan revealed that there’s still some changes to come.

“There’s been changes, and there’s more changes on the way,” he said. “It’s going to be good. The show is going to get bigger and better.”

Alan also addressed Tommy Bowe’s now infamous on screen blunder, saying that it was just a part of live TV.

The former rugby player was left red-faced when he and co-host Clare McKenna were introducing a guest last month.

Author Seamus O’Reilly was appearing as a guest on the chat show to talk about his new book and coping with the loss of his mum.

However, when Clare was introducing Seamus, she mentioned he had ten siblings – something which caught Tommy by surprise.

Clare said: “Author Seamus O’Reilly was just five years old when he and his ten siblings…”

Before finishing her sentence, Tommy interrupted and exclaimed: “Ten siblings?!”

Clare finished: “Sadly lost their mum.”

Realising his gaffe, Tommy turned bright red and let out an “Oof”.

However, Alan made it clear that there was no ill intent behind Tommy’s mistake.

“Tommy is Tommy,” laughed Alan. “It’s live TV, we’ve all done things and we’ve all said things on live television where you go, ah Jesus, I can’t I believe I did that afterwards. But that’s the whole magic of live television and that’s why people love it.

“There’s no malice meant in anything that we’ve said or done on TV, you make slip ups and people do that. That’s why I love doing it – it’s the unexpected.”