Paul Connolly is a vastly experienced investigative broadcast journalist, television and radio presenter and documentary maker. Highly respected and best known for his work on crime, he undertakes daring undercover operations infiltrating criminal gangs in cities and towns across Britain. Paul is also an impressive and talented speaker.
By revealing the secrets and tricks of the trade he uses when working undercover, Paul takes you deep inside a dark, menacing world. A world few even glimpse, whilst somehow finding the humour, hope and humanity in life on wrong side of the law.
"Paul Connolly is a polished speaker. His presentation was very good, funny, interesting and thought provoking."
Nick Bell | Detective Chief Inspector
Head of Cyber Crime – Digital Forensics – Economic Crime
South East Regional Organised Crime Unit
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Read more about Paul Connolly
Never one to shy away, Paul Connolly is notorious for the fearless manner in which he confronts and holds criminals to account. Particularly when he steps out from behind his undercover identity to reveals who he really is. To say those moments are, at times, explosive, gripping and ultimately life-threatening is an understatement.
Paul’s acclaimed and extremely successful documentaries have aired on Channel 5 in the UK, ITV (Tonight), Netflix, Facebook Watch, Discovery Channel, BBC Worldwide, Nine Network in Australia, Virgin Media One in Ireland and on many other networks.
He has been a face of Channel 5 since his first series aired in 2014. During this time he has gone undercover to buy large shipments of fake and poisonous vodka from Eastern European crooks in Black-Market Britain.
Meanwhile for months he also immersed himself in the underworld to expose large-scale welfare fraud in Undercover Benefits Cheat. He narrowly escaped injury during secret filming for Undercover Criminal. In the passenger seat of a car driven by insurance fraudsters they intentionally crashed into each other at speed.
Paul also interrogated the world of consumer related crime and corruption in Hunted And Confronted. And in Undercover: Nailing The Fraudsters Paul came face-to-face with some pretty dangerous criminals. High-end document forgers, international drug traffickers, ruthless con-men and dark-web scam-artists.
Most recently on Channel 5, Paul co-hosted Is it a Con?
This series examines the shopping habits of UK based families. And reveals to them the tricks of the marketing trade which, unbeknownst to them, influenced their decisions to buy.
Paul also fronted Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons for Channel 5/Netflix. In this series and in a world first, he lived as a prisoner for a week inside four of the most dangerous lockups on earth. He describes it as “equal parts fascinating, mind-altering and impossibly dangerous”. As a result it provided him with a rare and remarkable insight into the mind of a criminal. Furthermore it also supplied him with a hefty back-catalogue of nerve-jangling, “brush-with-death” stories to tell. The series was first broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK but is now available on Netflix.
His thirst for hostile environments was further tested when Paul was recruited as lead presenter on Curse of Akakor. This was a big budget investigative/adventure series for Facebook Watch. Alongside a former FBI undercover agent, Paul was tasked with investigating the disappearance of tourists. People who vanished whilst searching for ancient Amazonian cities said to be located across Peru and Brazil.
Paul is also a well-known television and radio personality in his native Ireland. He regularly co-hosts the most watched morning show in the country, Ireland AM on Virgin Media One. He has reported and presented on Newstalk 106 and 98FM. In the UK, Paul works as a freelance reporter for BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 – the station’s flagship investigative documentary series. He is also a popular corporate speaker and presenter.
He lives in London with his wife and baby daughter.
The Art of Confrontation:
As an investigative journalist, Paul goes go toe-to-toe, head-to-head with dangerous criminals on a regular basis. During the on-camera, tension-filled confrontations that round-off each successful investigation, Paul takes crooks to task on the impact their crimes have on society as a whole.
Essentially, he serves up the harsh truth - and, for most of his adversaries, it's a very bitter pill to swallow. Naturally, forcing a criminal to endure the glare of the spotlight case cause them to become agitated, even violent. Therein lies the skill, the art of confrontation.
Over the years, Paul has a developed a tried-and-tested method of calming and, to a degree, controlling situations that have the potential to escalate quickly. Using only language, specific mannerisms and other subtle nuances in his armoury, Paul can teach you how to apply these little known techniques in a corporate environment.
As we all know, confrontation is never easy. But, sometimes, it is a necessary evil. Over the course of just one seminar/talk, Paul can instruct you on how to diffuse any potential hostility before it has even started.
Overcoming adversity/The Power of persuasion - and turning a "no" into a "yes, where do I sign?"
As an investigative journalist, Paul is extremely skilled in the art of secret filming and in all other facets of undercover work. But no amount of training or experience can prepare a covert investigator for the worst of the worst case scenario: your cover being blown whilst on the job, face-to-face with dangerous criminals, with no safe exit in sight.
During his many years working undercover, Paul has endured numerous nightmarish situations. And he has lived to tell the tale. How? By the power or persuasion. Despite facing into a seemingly hopeless, against-all-the-odds situation, Paul was able to employ subtle but powerful techniques. These enabled to him to alter his adversaries focus, then turn the situation to his own advantage. Furthermore these little known skills can be applied to any number of situations that arise in a corporate environment, not least when a potential sales lead seems hell-bent on saying "NO!".