Paul Connolly is one of the UK most highly respected Investigative broadcast journalist and television presenters. A documentary maker and highly skilled speaker Paul specializes in covert filming and undercover work. He has risked life and limb to unmask some of Britain’s most dangerous criminals. Furthermore in a world first, Paul lived as an inmate in four of the toughest prisons on earth.
By revealing the secrets and tricks of the trade he uses when working undercover, Connolly 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
Paul Connolly grew up in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, dreaming of becoming either an astronaut or a professional footballer. A bitter distaste for all things applied, mathematics soon killed off the first of these options. However being a determined sort, he did manage a short-lived spell as a footballer. In the ranks of Slavia Prague - a professional soccer team in the Czech Republic.
A career-ending knee injury did, however, stop him playing. As a result decided to put his gift-of-the-gab to work in the world of journalism. Since qualifying he has been the editor of a motorcycle magazine, despite never having ridden one. He’s also courted controversy as a film critic. And he was a sports reporter on national radio and television.
Paul then earned his more serious stripes as a current-affairs presenter. It was here he discovered his forte. The only strand of journalism which could sustain the level of Adrenalin fueled excitement and constant change he needs to thrive. Investigative reporting.
These day, Paul Connolly is a vastly experienced investigative journalist best known for his work on crime. His daring undercover operations have seen him infiltrate criminal gangs in cities and towns across Britain.
Paul’s acclaimed and extremely successful documentaries have aired on many networks.
These include Channel 5 in the UK, Netflix, Discovery Channel, BBC Worldwide, Nine Network in Australia and TV3 in Ireland.
Paul’s Channel 5 series Black-Market Britain is now in it’s sixth season. Viewers have seen him go undercover to buy large shipments of fake and poisonous vodka from Eastern European crooks. And for months he immersed himself in the underworld to expose large-scale welfare fraud in Undercover Benefits Cheat. During the filming of another series Undercover Criminal he narrowly escaped injury as he secretly filmed from the passenger seat of a car as insurance fraudsters intentionally crashed into each other at speed. He also interrogated the world of consumer related crime and corruption in Hunted And Confronted. Likewise in Undercover: Nailing The Fraudsters Paul came face-to-face with high-end document forgers, international drug traffickers, ruthless con-men, dark-web scam-artists etc.
Never one to shy away, Paul Connolly is notorious also for the fearless manner in which he confronts and holds criminals to account. Particularly when he can step 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.
Recently, he also presented Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons where, in a world first, he lived as a prisoner for a week inside four of the most dangerous lock-ups on earth. Paul describes it as “equal parts fascinating, mind-altering and impossibly dangerous”. That is to say yet again, it has provided him with a rare and remarkable insight into the mind of a criminal. Similarly it serves as 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.
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.
Over his many years working undercover, Paul has endured this nightmarish situation - and lived to tell the tale. How? The power or persuasion. Despite facing into a seemingly hopeless, against-all-the-odds situation, Paul was able to employ subtle but powerful techniques that enabled to him to alter his adversaries focus, then turn the situation to his own advantage. 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!".