Former UTV chat show host Gerry Kelly is to take up a new post on BBC radio.
The broadcaster — who quit UTV in January 2008 — will now host a new weekly programme every Saturday from April 4, 2009.
The show will replace some existing programmes, including Radio Ulster mainstay Inside Politics, which has been running every Saturday since the mid 1980s.
In his new programme, on Saturdays 12.30-2pm, Gerry will be inviting listeners to call, text and e-mail the programme to share their stories with him.
Simply entitled Gerry Kelly, the show will have him catching up with old friends, celebrity chat, his own range of music and listener requests.
As well as bumping Inside Politics off to a Sunday slot, Gerry Kelly will also replace the Talkback round-up and Saturday Live. Inside Politics will move to Sunday and will be extended from 15 minutes to half an hour. The Talkback round-up will be available via podcast.
Speaking to the BBC, Gerry said: “I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to joining the BBC Radio Ulster weekend team. Having studiously avoided a camera or a microphone for the past 12 months, the time is now right for me to get back to what I love doing best. So, when the opportunity arose to become part of Northern Ireland's most successful radio station, I didn't hesitate.
“While most of my professional life has been spent in front of a television camera, I love the freedom and intimacy that radio can offer. I am excited about this new chapter in my life and look forward to working alongside many of my broadcasting friends in the BBC.
“Hopefully, along with Radio Ulster's loyal listeners, we'll make Saturday afternoons special.”
Susan Lovell, Head Of BBC Radio Ulster, says: “Gerry Kelly is one of the biggest names in broadcasting in Northern Ireland. We are so pleased he is joining BBC Radio Ulster and we are very much looking forward to inviting him into the team.
“Gerry is a great addition to an already popular line-up of Saturday programmes on BBC Radio Ulster and we hope our listeners will make him as much a part of their busy Saturday as they have our other programmes. We're sure his relaxed and infectious style of broadcasting and his warm personality will prove popular with our listeners.”
Gerry is one of the best known broadcasters in Northern Ireland, with around 30 years experience.
In 1989 he began presenting the Kelly Show on UTV and stayed there for 16 years. When the show ended, it was replaced with Kelly Meets...
However the Co Down man dropped a bombshell, announcing he was leaving UTV last year for new projects and to work on his autobiography.