BBC Radio Foyle celebrates 40th birthday with live Gala

BBC Radio Foyle hosted an evening of entertainment and celebration to mark its 40th birthday last night live from the city’s Guildhall.

Presented by Sarah Brett and Stephen McCauley, the two-hour Foyle At 40 Gala included a line-up of musicians and actors, special guests, a few archive moments and highlights from a year of birthday-related programmes on the station at the heart of the North West community.

Among those who performed on the night were The Undertones; Paul Casey; Touts; Ruth McGinley; ROE; Ryan Vail; and star of Derry Girls Saoirse-Monica Jackson.

Larry Deeney, Content Editor, BBC Radio Foyle, said ahead of the event: “It’s entirely appropriate for this concert to take place in the beautiful setting of The Guildhall – which provided the backdrop to BBC Radio Foyle’s first outside broadcast at Christmas-time in 1979. Our microphones and staff team have travelled throughout community since then, bringing local stories, voices and experiences to a wider audience. We have reported events and provided a forum for debate. And we have reflected the remarkable diversity of everyday life – winning awards, constantly innovating and staying close to people’s needs.

“Creative ambition has been a constant in the BBC Radio Foyle story. We have demanded the best of ourselves and for the listeners that we serve. Our services have grown in volume and reach, making use of new technology and developing Foyle’s place as a production centre for BBC audiences across Northern Ireland and beyond. This work has benefitted from recent investment, but it never stops. The future is always fast arriving and we need to keep pace with its demands and opportunities – a task which I feel we can embrace with confidence.

“We exist for our listeners. They are at the heart of everything that we do. This concert is a tribute to all of them and to everything that BBC Radio Foyle has achieved and stands for. Here’s to all of the great things that we can do together over the next 40 years!”

The full concert was broadcast live online and can be replayed at bbc.co.uk/nilive.

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