Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Radio star Stephen Nolan sleeps in for flagship BBC show

BBC's Stephen Nolan
Radio phone-in host Stephen Nolan

It could be time for the BBC to invest in a set of alarm clocks for its early morning presenters after one of its flagship shows was delayed for 40 minutes when the star slept in.

Outspoken presenter Stephen Nolan appeared to have suffered a bout of ‘Mondayitis’ when he failed to arrive for his Radio Ulster show on Monday morning.

More used to discussing the burning issues of the day, the Belfast-born broadcaster found himself the hot topic of conversation when instead of his usual boisterous welcome, listeners were met with the sounds of Take That and Alicia Keys.

Due to go on-air at 9am, the producers were forced to play 40 minutes of music before recruiting fellow presenter William Crawley to fill in for Nolan.

At one point baffled listeners were informed the broadcaster was experiencing “technical difficulties”.

When the show finally started, Crawley thanked listeners for their patience, saying “we got there in the end”.

The Nolan Show usually broadcasts from Manchester on a Monday as the presenter hosts a late night programme on Radio 5 Live over the weekend.

The BBC yesterday confirmed Nolan had “overslept”, but gave no further explanation as to what happened.

The presenter declined to talk to the Belfast Telegraph about his duvet-day, directing all questions to the BBC Press office.

While Nolan himself made no reference to the hiccup on his show yesterday, when it came to the handover with Gerry Anderson at 10.30am he came under fire from the Derry presenter who asked him where he’d been.

“I want to talk to you about something,” he said to Nolan.

“We at Radio Ulster pride ourselves on what we call the three buzzwords — dependability, reliability and punctuality. On all three you fell down yesterday.”

Nolan tried to defend himself by saying that none of his listeners had brought it up, but Anderson quickly hit back claiming “the listeners are afraid, but I’m not afraid — where were you?”

The light-hearted interrogation prompted Nolan to apologise to his listeners, saying he was “very sorry”.

It’s not the first time the opinion-splitting presenter has slept in for his award-winning show.

Last January he said he was “scundered” after turning up half-an-hour late for his radio slot.

He admitted he had slept in until 8.30am, blaming a new fitness regime and diet plan he was undertaking as part of preparation for a six-mile sport challenge.

He told listeners: “I’m mortified.

“It was one of those horrible feelings of waking up and realising I definitely didn’t have time to get to work.”

A BBC spokesman confirmed Nolan had “overslept” on Monday.

“In more than seven years of presenting his BBC Radio Ulster morning programme, Stephen Nolan has been late on air on a few occasions, some of which have also been due to technical difficulties,” he said.

From the archives - Stephen Nolan ‘mortified’ after sleeping in

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