Head of RTÉ Dee Forbes reveals she was robbed at gunpoint

Head of RTÉ Dee Forbes reveals she was robbed at gunpoint

THE Director General of Ireland's national broadcaster has revealed she was robbed at gunpoint.

Dee Forbes, who heads up RTÉ, was speaking on Eoghan McDermott's 2fm show to mark International Women's Day.

The west Cork native was taking part on the show's quick fire round - where she was asked if she ever threw a punch or was punched - when she spoke about her ordeal.

"I did get mugged once, in Spain, a long time ago in Madrid," she said.

She described how the incident happened when she was walking down the street with a friend towards the centre of Madrid.

"I had a gun pointed at me. His friend got my firend up against the wall, stole her chain," she said. "I was fighting like hell because my bag had my passport, everything, my wallet was in the bag.

"I was fighting not knowing a gun was on me. Then my friend said 'stop it stop it, he's got a gun, let the bag go'. I was really scared for quite awhile after, I was working in London at the time."

On her return to the English capital she said she found the weeks that followed particularly difficult. She was working in Camden at the time and was terrified during her walk from the station to the office.

"For weeks I was petrified. It did affect me," she admitted. "I can still see myself, where it happened, with the guy pulling my bag. Thankfully there was no harm done and that's the important thing."

Ms Forbes spent 27 years in London before returning to Ireland to work with RTÉ.

Ms Forbes was appointed RTÉ's first female Director-General having previously been President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks Northern Europe.

In 2010 she Discovery Networks as Head of its UK and Ireland operation and eventually lead the Northern Europe region.

She previously led Turner Broadcasting’s business in the UK and Ireland, which consisted of seven entertainment channels, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM.

A graduate of University College Dublin, a desire to work in advertising led her to London, after which she went into broadcasting.