BBC RADIO ULSTER: Northern Ireland radio station celebrates its 40th anniversary

VIJAY SHAH via and RadioToday

BBC Radio Ulster, which provides public radio broadcasting services from the BBC to the whole of Northern Ireland, will celebrate its 40th birthday in style with a special gala concert for its presenters and friends this coming Monday, radio magazine RadioToday Industry News reports today.

English: BBC Radio Ulster. The local offices o...
English: BBC Radio Ulster. The local offices of the BBC located at Mountjoy Road, Omagh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radio station’s television counterpart, BBC1 NI will also air a documentary on the life and history of BBC Radio Ulster to tie in with the anniversary celebrations at 10.35 pm on the same day. The programme, entitled Radio Days is narrated by Stephen Nolan, will also feature never-seen-before footage of life behind the scenes at the BBC radio station, along with interviews. Some of the greatest names to have worked in the Radio Ulster studios during its four decades of service to the Northern Irish people who will appear on Radio Days include veteran presenter Walter Love. Also on the programme will be Wendy Austin, Hugo Duncan, Cherrie McIlwaine and Linda McAuley, Stephen Nolan, Rigsy and Vinny Hurrell. Actor and author Simon Callow and broadcaster and writer Anita Robinson will also make an appearance, paying their tributes to the forty-year-old station.

The concert will be attended by both keen listeners and staff, with a schedule of two and a half hours of fine music and entertainment with the Ulster Orchestra as well as speeches and presentations by BBC Radio staff. There will also be arts and comedy on display at the event. Known officially as the ‘BBC Radio Ulster 40th Birthday Gala’, the party will be braodcast live on BBC from 8:00 pm on Monday 14th December 2015 at the Ulster Hall in Belfast, and is hosted by Wendy Austin and John Toal. Presenters John Bennett and Lynette Fay will present the red carpet watch at half-an-hour before the gala begins and guests arrive. There will also be specially broadcast interviews with Radio Ulster presenters past and present as they share their fondest memories and stories with the public.

Fergus Keeling, the head of radio at BBC Northern Ireland said: “We hope what we have in store will be our way of giving our listeners something special back. They’ve joined in our birthday broadcasts, they have helped make this year special and they are the reason we do what we do. This birthday event is shaping up to be something quite special and I would like to thank our fantastic talent and great friends for taking the time to help us celebrate in this way. Most of all though, I’d like to thank our listeners old and new. This night is for them.”

BBC Radio Ulster, one of two PBS radio stations in Northern Ireland, broadcasts over both traditional radio frequencies as well as online and via digital radio and  is located at Broadcasting House in the Ormeau Avenue area of Belfast city centre. It first went on air in January 1975 and broadcasts a mix of news, music, talk shows and sports coverage.

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“BBC Radio Ulster celebrates its 40th birthday” – UK – – Radio – News/Not At All Bad Ltd
(13 December 2015)
“BBC Radio Ulster celebrates its 40th birthday” – Roy Martin, RadioToday Industry News (13 December 2015)
“BBC Radio Ulster” – Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
“File:BBC Radio Ulster – – 119220.jpg” – Kenneth Allen, via Wikimedia Commons (8 February 2006)

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