Charlie Bird: The loneliness of the long-distance reporter

Poor old Charlie Bird. The Irish TV newsman has had enough of Washington and wants out less than halfway into a four-year posting.

The 60-year-old reporter says he has failed to make a single friend during his time here.

"Whatever that says about me, I've decided really that I'm a home bird rather than a Washington person...I won't be here this time next Christmas," he said in the second part of "Charlie Bird's American Year," which was broadcast on RTE in Ireland Monday night

Charlie will probably return to his position as chief news correspondent at RTE, which is still vacant since his appointment as Washington correspondent in October 2008.

Charlie beat out several younger journalists for the job which is regarded as one of RTE's "plum postings."

But he says, "I miss my kids...They are 33 and 30, but I do. It's meant to be a four-year posting but there is absolutely no way I'm going to stick here for four years. I just couldn't do it."

"In many ways the year felt long for me," he said. "I found life in Washington very lonely. I can honestly say in the 12 months I have been here I have met nobody.

"When I came here I wasn't certain whether I would stay the four years and at the end of one year here, I miss Ireland. I miss my family. This year I turned 60 and I want to be at home with them," he said.

Well for ya Charlie, at least you've got a job to go back to.


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