Afternoon schedule changes at Radio Ulster
Kerry McLean is taking over the afternoon slot on BBC Radio Ulster as part of a number of changes at the station.
Kerry will host the show Monday to Thursday and Gerry Kelly will present a new programme every Friday in the 3pm-5pm in addition to his Saturday programme. Current host Alan Simpson steps down from a daily programme after seven years in the slot.
Other changes are at the weekend, with Kim Lenaghan hosting Saturday mornings from 7am-8am and Sunday mornings from 7am-8.30am, starting January 18th. Gerry Anderson is also returning to the station after a year of ill-health.
Alan will present his final show in this slot on Monday, 24 December, after a week of special programming in which he will invite a wide range of special guests who have been friends of his show over the years into the studio.
Alan has had a new series commissioned for BBC Radio Ulster which will focus on the north coast of Northern Ireland and will be broadcast next year.
Alan says: “Seven years ago I was given a unique opportunity to present a programme on BBC Radio Ulster and every day since then, whenever the ‘On Air’ light has gone on at 3pm, has been an incredible experience.
“There are so many great memories, from conducting an interview with Dolly Parton while she sat on my knee to being nervous about meeting Michael Parkinson – only for him to tell me that he liked my interviewing style – and One Direction causing chaos when they came into the studios and the police having to close off an area outside the building as their fans all clambered to catch a glimpse of them.
“I have also been overwhelmed by the public feedback from people outside the building who have made the show a part of their daily routine.”
Kerry’s new programme, which will start on the station on Monday, 20 January 2014, at 3pm, will encourage contribution from listeners and will be family focused with music, chat, film reviews, cookery and local events.
Gerry Kelly’s new Friday entertainment programme will commence on Friday, 24 January at 3pm and will include music and celebrity interviews.
Fergus Keeling, Head of Radio, BBC Northern Ireland: “We’re tremendously excited about evolving our schedule in the New Year to offer our listeners the best content which is designed to be high quality, engaging and perfectly suited for our audiences who are listening at these times.
“Alan has been a fantastic member of the BBC Radio Ulster team since he joined the station in 2006 with his humour, sense of fun and professionalism. I’d like to thank Alan for the passion he has poured into his afternoon programme and I’m looking forward to hearing his new series next year.”