Meet Paul Connolly - Running Riot: Inside the World's Toughest Prisons host!

Running Riot: Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons sees journalist Paul Connolly spend time living amongst the world’s most dangerous criminals in the most infamous prisons from Poland to the Philippines.

The intense first series was hosted by Paul and aired on Channel 5, whereas the latter two seasons were commissioned by Netflix and led by UK journalist Rafael Rowe.

And now the first series – which aired in 2016 – returns to Channel 5 this Monday, July 22nd for another run!

So if you’re brand new to the show, buckle in, as Paul is about to commence the toughest journey of his career.

Here are five things you need to know about Paul, from biography to career highlights and more.

Screenshot: Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons S1 E1 – Netflix

Meet Paul Connolly…

Paul Connolly is a  journalist, reporter and television presenter originally from Dublin, Ireland.

He graduated with a BA in Journalism and Media Communications before embarking on his career in television.

After graduating, Paul got his foot in the media world as the editor of The Bike Buyers Guide. But Paul’s passion did not lie in bikes but more integrative journalism.

He left The Bike Buyers Guide and moved into radio, working at Ireland’s Newstalk. There, he became an on-air contributor for the afternoon radio show Moncrieff before he was relocated to the sports department at Newstalk.

Paul Connolly: Sports journalism

After he became an established reporter at Newstalk, Paul went on to have a career in sports journalism.

There he was a sports reporter on two shows: Off The Cuff and The Weekend Sports Show.

His natural flair for the job meant he was quickly scooped up by major Irish sports TV company, Setanta Sports. It was with Setanta that Paul got his first jobs on screen.

Paul provided coverage mainly of the Pro14 rugby for Setanta, as both a reporter and presenter.

Paul’s breakout into documentaries

His breakout came through his self-titled investigative series, Paul Connolly Investigates, which aired on TV3.

In these mini-docs, Paul investigates a variety of domestic issues in Ireland such as fraud, sham marriages and Ireland’s subcultures of Swinging and dogging.

In 2015, Paul began to work with Channel 5 on the docu-series Undercover Benefits Cheat.

It wasn’t long before they roped in Paul for another job, working on Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons!


Why is Paul only in season 1 of the show?

Channel 5 produced the first series of Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons before releasing the show rights to streaming giant Netflix.

And while the content and format are largely unchanged from series 1 to 3, Netflix introduced a new host.

Rafael Rowe took over from Paul and while nothing has been confirmed about the reason the show changed host, fans of the series are definitely divided over which presenter they prefer.

But regardless of host change, the show has remained one of Netflix’s most popular docu-series.

What is Paul Connolly up to now?

Since working on Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, Paul has been working on a variety of projects for the telly.

Most recently, he has a new docuseries called Curse of Akakor – made in partnership with Facebook Watch – being released on Sunday, August 11th. Check out the trailer below to see Paul in action!

Paul has a Twitter account under the username @paulieconnolly.

Curse of Akakor – Trailer

When three explorers go missing searching for a lost city of gold, the question remains – was it an accident? Or a murder? With new technology and a team of experts, join the expedition of a lifetime through the Amazon to unravel the mystery.

Posted by Curse of Akakor on Tuesday, 23 July 2019





Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know