Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Gaston takes to a different stage at U105

Richard Gaston, who was born to run a cinema, is about to become a new voice - on radio.

He has taken over as a presenter every Tuesday night on commercial station U105.

"And appropriately I'll be hosting the Stage and Screen programme, featuring the great singers of big movies," he revealed.

Richard's family owned the Curzon Cinema on the Ormeau Road in Belfast and he grew up serving popcorn to the patrons and operating the projectors.

"Apparently when I was a babe in arms my dad brought me in to show me off to the usherettes and I crawled away and got lost in the stalls," he recalled.

"It took them an age to find me, somewhere in the one and nines."

But Richard preferred the live stage to the big pictures and has become well known in musical productions with the New Lyric and other amateur companies.

He was named Best Comedian for his role as Hakim in Oklahoma two years ago and has just finished performing a part in The Merry Widow at the Opera House.

"I love all forms of entertainment," said the man who is taking over on U105 from singer Peter Corry.

"On the show I'll be playing everyone from Frank Sinatra and Doris Day to Barbara Streisand.

"But my saddest day was when the Gaston family finally closed down the Curzon and it was demolished. I have some great memories of the old place and I am still a regular cinema-goer."

Away from radio, Richard is busy fundraising to meet the cost of rebuilding the Lyric Theatre.

Stage and Screen will be on U105 every Tuesday evening from 7pm to 9pm.

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