Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Kelly: man who talked the talk with celebrities

One of Ulster's best-known and most-loved television presenters is leaving UTV to concentrate on other projects. Lisa Smyth looks at his career to date

Award winning-presenter Gerry Kelly has interviewed hundreds of the biggest names in show business, film and television, music, sport and politics

Gerry Kelly is one of Ireland's most popular television presenters and the end of his contract with UTV marks the closure of one the best known and most successful partnerships in the Ulster media.

Before becoming a broadcaster, Gerry was a primary school teacher and lecturer in St Mary's Teacher Training College, Belfast.

His first television job was as a part-time sports reporter.

He moved into television full time in 1979 to present UTV's nightly one-hour news and magazine programme with Gloria Hunniford.

After Gloria's departure, Gerry took over Good Evening Ulster for a short spell before branching out into the social action programme, Lifestyle.

At the end of the 1980s, UTV began a series of outside broadcast roadshows, Kelly on Tour and Kelly on the Road before finally introducing Kelly in September 1989.

The flagship programme aired for the last time in 2005, often attracting huge ratings. On the programme, award winning-presenter Gerry Kelly has interviewed hundreds of the biggest names in show business, film and television, music, sport and politics, as well as giving many local people a chance to experience their 15 minutes of fame.

He remained at UTV until this week where he made over 40 of his Gerry Meets... shows, which proved equally as popular as the Kelly programme.

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