Ivan Yates is a Radio and TV broadcaster, Businessman, Company Director, Former Politician and Farmer as well as Author and Columnist. Yates presented ‘The Hard Shoulder’ on Newstalk 4pm-7pm weeknights. He also presented ‘The Tonight Show’ on Virgin Media with Matt Cooper, Monday to Thursday at 10pm. Ivan also presents political podcast ‘Path to Power’ with co-host Matt Cooper.
He was elected a Fine Gael TD for the Wexford constituency at the 1981 general election and eight subsequent elections until his retirement from politics in 2002. He was the youngest member of the 22nd Dáil and fifth youngest member ever, despite no family background in politics. He was a member of Wexford County Council for over two decades and a senior member of the FG front bench from 1988-2001. He served as Minister for Agriculture Food and Forestry from 1994 to 1997.
Yates began his working life as a farmer in Enniscorthy, having been an early school leaver. He founded Celtic Bookmakers in 1988, expanding the company to an Irish and UK chain of 64 shops employing more than 400 people, with almost €200 million turnover. The global recession resulted in receivership and ultimately his personal bankruptcy in Swansea 2012.
Beyond his own family business ventures, Ivan has been chairman and non-executive director of multiple businesses, including One51, Independent Radio Sales, energy and training companies. He completed the Chartered Director Programme with the Institute of Directors in 2009.
Ivan reinvented himself as a national broadcaster, joining Newstalk in 2009 where he co-presented ‘Newstalk Breakfast’ with Claire Byrne and subsequently Chris Donohoe. Listenership grew from a reach figure of 53,000 to 178,000, being the most successful show in the history of the station up to 2016. In 2017 Ivan launched a new drive-time show on Newstalk as a solo presenter, ‘The Hard Shoulder’, broadcasting week days from 4-7pm. In this show, Ivan brought his unique style of straight talking, opinion led and humorous presentation to record success, winning the IMRO Speech Broadcaster of the Year and Best Current Affairs Programme in 2019. The JNLR ratings peaked at 183,000 listeners and was the most listened to independent commercial radio programme in the country.
On television, Ivan co-presented a new show ‘Sunday AM’ with Anna Daly prior to a three-year stint of co-presenting ‘The Tonight Show’ with Matt Cooper both on Virgin Media One. This programme, which took over from Vincent Browne, had an average 120,000 viewers tuning in nightly, with the show raking in more than 2.2 million viewers since the outbreak of Covid in March 2020.
In 2014, Ivan released his autobiography called ‘Full On’, a gripping and utterly compelling read about a journey behind the scenes of not just one life, but of a modern Ireland, with extraordinary highs and lows, displaying enormous resilience. He has written weekly feature opinion columns for The Irish Independent and Irish Examiner.
Yates is a much sought-after MC and keynote speaker. He has a flair for asking the questions that need answering and is a memorable, entertaining after-dinner speaker. His attention to detail, meticulous preparation and client focus ensures that a range of national and international corporate and formal events are hugely successful. Yates has spoken at and MC’d hundreds of corporate and formal events across all sectors of the economy including Professional Services, Property, Finance, Construction, Tourism, Hospitality and Agricultural .
In August 2020, Ivan stepped back from full time media work in Dublin to return to the family home and farm in Enniscorthy. Ivan, above all else is a serial entrepreneur, who seeks to focus in a selective and strategic way on new opportunities; bringing his varied business, political and media experiences to benefit a wide range of companies and organisations.
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