Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

She wasn't my Hunni...

No truth in gloria affair rumour says TV's Jackie

ULSTER sports presenter Jackie Fullerton has told how an alleged affair with Gloria Hunniford landed him in hot water with TV bosses.

ULSTER sports presenter Jackie Fullerton has told how an alleged affair with Gloria Hunniford landed him in hot water with TV bosses.

The popular BBC commentator will detail in his new autobiography that everyone was talking in the late 1970s about the alleged off-screen relationship with the daytime TV queen.

"I still get reminded of it to this day - the alleged affair with Gloria Hunniford," said Jackie.

"We worked together on UTV's Good Evening Ulster in the late 1970s.

"There was never an affair, but I was called in by management about it.

"I had to phone my wife one day because we were frightened it was going to hit the Press. It bounced back and forward for a long time."

Added Jackie: "I think people thought there was something going on because we had a chemistry on the programme."

Ballymena-born Jackie, a lifelong Frank Sinatra fan, describes his new book - entitled I Did It My Way - as "an honest account of my life and an insight into television".

The veteran broadcaster, who has worked in TV for 33 years, says some of the highlights of his professional life include training with the World Cup team in the 1980s.

"I was, like, part of the squad.

"Having been an Irish League footballer, that was a great thrill.

"I'm also doing a chapter about two of my heroes - Joey Dunlop and George Best, who are sadly no longer with us.

"And I'll talk about my relationship with Martin O'Neill and Sir Alex Ferguson - I've been lucky that he took to me and treated me so well over the years."

More recently in his personal life, Jackie suffered the deaths of his beloved parents within months of each other and he also underwent major heart surgery.

"My mum's death was devastating, so I write about the pain of that - even though she was over 80 and we were lucky to have them both until they were over 80.

"But it was still sudden and it cut me in two for a long time.

"I also talk about the tearful time I had in hospital. I don't mind saying I cried about three-times-a-day for a week.

"But, mentally, I'm good now. I'm a patron of Heartbeat, which provides money for medical equipment for young people and children."

I Did It My Way will be published by Mainstream Publishing in September priced £16.99 in hardback.

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