Irish Host Amanda Byram Continues on FOX
By Julia McAvoy Gottlieb, Contributor
August / September 2004
For all you reality television viewers, Amanda Byram’s face may be recognizable. The Dublin-born and raised television presenter has been associated with three controversial reality television shows; one of which was cancelled before airing.
Byram relocated to Santa Monica, California for her Hollywood career and because it reminded her of the relaxed atmosphere of her hometown. Even though she has hosted two successful reality television programs, Paradise Hotel and The Swan, she still misses “everything” about Ireland but admits that “work-wise there isn’t that much opportunity there.”
Her latest project in the U.S. was presenting for the Fox show Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay which was filmed in February and canceled before ever airing after causing controversy with gay rights groups. Byram claims that the show was innocent and funny and the publicity made it seem more controversial. Regardless, the show was dropped after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation labeled the show an “exercise in systematic humiliation.” But Byram took the cancellation in stride. “Of course it is always disappointing when things don’t air, but TV and the FCC is very sensitive right now, and I roll with the decisions made by the Fox network, as they have been and continue to be very supportive to me.”
Between her two hits Paradise Hotel and The Swan, Byram was more invested in The Swan. The show featured contestants who went through intense plastic surgery and competed to be part of the final beauty pageant at the end of the series. The show moved Byram, and she said that she and the participants were in tears everyday. She has been desensitized to plastic surgery in general. “It has become an everyday thing, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing,” she says. She is lined up to present The Swan II, which is currently in the process of casting new contestants.
Byram has had more than a few problems with people who mistake her accent. This past season on Saturday Night Live, comedian Maya Rudolph parodied The Swan and said Byram was British. She retorts, “It’s so annoying because no one can distinguish my accent!” Perhaps that is because Byram lived in London for four years. Whether or not she sounds like she’s from Ireland, she certainly credits her Irishness for her success. “My ability to sit down and talk to anyone and everyone is my most Irish characteristic,” she says. ♦