George Hook

George Hook

George Hook in 2011
Born (1941-05-19) 19 May 1941
Cork, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Other names The Alpha Male, Hooky, The Hooky Monster
Education Rathmines College of Commerce, Dublin Institute of Technology
Occupation Journalist and Radio Broadcaster
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) [1]
Religion Judaism, Catholic
Spouse(s) Ingrid Hook
Children Alison, George Junior and Michelle

George Hook (born 19 May 1941)[2] is an Irish broadcaster, journalist and rugby union pundit. He hosts The Right Hook on the Irish radio station Newstalk and is a member of the popular sports media website, Pundit Arena. He had a career as a rugby union coach and businessman, before becoming a rugby pundit on RTÉ Television in 1997.[3] He has also made other TV appearances, such as judging on Jigs & Reels and coaching on Celebrity Bainisteoir.


Hook grew up in Cork and converted to Christianity and attended Presentation Brothers College, a rugby union stronghold. Subsequently he attended Rathmines College of Commerce. On his proud Christian Brothers upbringing Hook commented that "I am proud that Presentation College accepted Jewish boys when the State system was closed to them".

Hook has had a number of jobs, beginning as a temporary clerk for CIÉ, and later becoming a travelling salesman for the Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys). He also ran a catering business for over twenty years. He coached London Irish and Connacht as well as the United States national team in the 1987 Rugby World Cup.

The Right Hook, Hook's radio show on Newstalk, is a popular late afternoon to early evening drive-time programme.[4] His wife, "the lovely Ingrid", is regularly subjected to having her intimate details discussed and dissected on air by Hook.[5] Hook appears as a rugby pundit on RTÉ on a regular basis and appeared as a judge on RTÉ celebrity dancing show Jigs & Reels. He has also been parodied in The State of Us.

In 2005, he published an autobiography, "Time Added On". The book described his years involved in business and the failure of this career path.

In 2009, he visited Haiti where he organised a recruitment drive to get volunteers to go there on a house building week.[6][7][8] The next day a vicious earthquake struck Haiti. After the earthquake Hook was heard to say: "It is a godforsaken place. God has literally forsaken it."[9] Following the January 2010 earthquake. Hook urged his radio listeners to donate money.[10]

Hook is also the patron of Comber Foundation, an Irish charity working in Romania since 1991, of which his daughter Michelle McGill is a trustee.[11] The charity provides homes in the community for adults with disabilities who grew up in institutions and orphanages[12]

Politically, Hook is a longtime supporter of Fine Gael, frequently identifying himself on The Right Hook as being "an old Blueshirt". In 2010, as part of the Catholic Church's "Year for Priests" celebration, he contributed to a DVD, In Praise of Priests, featuring interviews with various people expressing admiration for their favourite priest.[13]

On January 26, 2014, Hook announced that he would retire from Newstalk in 2016 and television punditry after the 2015 Rugby World Cup but RTÉ lost the right for Irish broadcasting to TV3. On February 13, 2015, Hook reversed his decision to retire from television punditry. However, on March 17 of the same year, Hook announced that he would retire from television punditry saying he would never watch the RTÉ rugby panel again.



  2. "George Hook - Personally Speaking Bureau". Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. "Radio 1 recovers lost listeners, ratings survey shows". Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. Ni Bhraonain, Eimear (18 July 2012). "George's 'lovely Ingrid' wasn't easily hooked". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  5. The Irish Times, "Irish charity to build houses in Haiti", Thursday, 15 January 2009
  6. Niamh Hennessy, Irish Examiner, "Hook urges volunteers to get building in Haiti", Wednesday, 13 January 2010
  7. Irish Central "Irish connections run very deep to Haiti", Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 11:58 PM
  8. Irish Independent, "Jason O'Brien: Godforsaken Haiti needs help now, more than ever", Thursday 14 January 2010
  9. Irish Independent, "George hooks Haiti volunteers", Wednesday 13 January 2010
  10. "Comber Foundation website", "Comber Foundation", 2010
  11. "Evening Herald", "Builders giving up work to build homes for orphans", 2 March 2009
  12. "Failure of Church leaders to deal with abuse a "source of deep shame"". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
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