Belfast Telegraph

Fresh outlook for weathergirl Jackie as she quits Beeb

By Victoria O'Hara

Weather presenter Jackie McCann is to deliver her last forecast at the end of the month after deciding to leave the BBC.

The mother of two young children said the reason for quitting her high-profile job was to spend more time with her family.

In a statement issued by the BBC last night, the forecaster said: “I am leaving the BBC simply because I have a young family at home that need me.

“I am sorry to be leaving, but I know it's the right thing to do at this stage in my life.”

Jackie, originally from Co Kerry, joined BBC Northern Ireland’s weather presenting team in 2008. She said it was her “ideal job” and was thrilled to get the role.

Looking back on her career with the BBC, she added: “It's been a great place to work and I'd like to thank everyone for their help and support since I joined the BBC, and I'm reminded every day how talented and inspirational my colleagues are.

“I feel very privileged to have been part of the BBC family, but it's time for me to focus my attention on the McCann family.” Jackie married journalist-turned-author Darran McCann, from Armagh, in 2008.

After her first child was born she spoke of how hard she found leaving the little boy at home to return to work.

“When David was born I remember looking at him and thinking how will I ever give him up to anyone else to mind, but I became more realistic as time went on and realised that part of me needed to go back to doing what I loved,” she said.

“Handing him over to the child minder was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made and it really tugged at the heartstrings.”

Jackie, who is in her mid-30s, returned to the screen after an 11-month leave of absence.

The couple had second baby in December 2011 and Jackie returned to our screens after her second maternity leave last year.

She is the second well-known face to announce a departure from the BBC this month.

Newsreader Sarah Travers also confirmed she was signing off to spend more time with her family. The mother-of-two from Portstewart, who completed a 120-mile daily commute, said the time was right to “try something different and also to spend more time with my family”.

Angelina Fusco, editor of BBC TV News, praised Jackie for being “a great member of the team”.

Profile

Jackie McCann originally trained in therapeutic radiography in Trinity College, Dublin. She later decided to pursue a career in journalism and after her studies spent a year with TV3 in Dublin. The mother-of-two moved to Belfast in 2004 after being offered a position in the BBC Northern Ireland's Irish Language department. Just over a year later she transferred to the newsroom which led to her weather presenting role.

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