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Relatively Speaking: Mother and son, Lynda and Christopher

By Karen Ireland

Published 16/12/2015

Happy home: Lynda Bryans and her son Christopher Nesbitt
Happy home: Lynda Bryans and her son Christopher Nesbitt

Lynda Bryans is a former television presenter on UTV and is now a lecturer at Belfast Metropolitan College. She is married to UUP leader Mike Nesbitt. Their son, Christopher, is studying A-levels at Campbell College, Belfast.

Name: Lynda Bryans

Age: 53

Occupation: Lecturer at Belfast Metropolitan College

Relationship to Christopher: Mother

Chris is my youngest son and he has always loved music from young age, and can always be found in his room playing his guitar.

As a family we spend time together at weekends going to watch Ulster play rugby. It can be cold and wet but we all love being together and enjoying each other's company.

Michael and I have both had long and successful careers in broadcasting and have now moved on to new chapters in our lives. I began teaching part-time in 2010 after leaving UTV and I love it, especially the interaction with the students.

When it comes to our two sons, they are polar opposites - despite the fact they have the same parents and have been brought up the same way and in the same house.

PJ is studying law at Queen's University, Belfast but is currently in America as part of his course. He is coming home next week and we are really looking forward to having him back for Christmas.

PJ is very intense and focused and always knew that he wanted to study law and has worked hard to get there.

Chris, on the other hand, would be happy to travel the world and play music all the time. He is very laid-back and easy-going.

While he is very conscious of other people's feelings, he is also very demonstrative. Chris will come into the kitchen and lift me off my feet to give me a hug - he thinks nothing of swinging me around the kitchen.

He calls me Lynda and his dad Michael and is constantly joking around.

When Chris was younger he was a wee rascal. His dad and I were called into school when he was in P2 and the headmistress met us to tell us our son had written the "F" word on the blackboard and owned up to it.

As we walked out of school his dad said to me, "Oh well, at least we know he can spell". Of course he was very remorseful. He always was when he got into trouble.

He was so cute it was hard to stay angry with him, though. Chris is always smiling and has a funny disposition.

He is a happy person and has a 'just get on with it' attitude to life."

Name: Christopher Nesbitt

Age: 18

Occupation: Student, Campbell College, Belfast

Relationship to Lynda: Son

I am currently studying A-levels in music, media and drama at Campbell College in Belfast. While I am not looking forward to my mock exams next year, I enjoy my subjects and love school. In my spare time I play my guitar, particularly instrumental jazz and classical, and I have played a few gigs at local restaurants and bars in town and have a few coming up before Christmas.

I want to go to Bath University next year to study commercial music with a view to going into production.

I've always played the guitar and got my first one when I was eight or nine, and I have gotten a new one every couple of years since.

We are a close family and I love nothing more than when we all come together for Sunday lunches. My mum always comes into my room when I am playing music and starts to sing along. She loves singing and often I have to tell her to stop it and get out.

She is very honest, forgiving and always puts others first.

Her parents, my grandparents, are very down-to-earth and I think that's where she gets it from. They have been her role models and I hope to have those qualities, too.

She just has a sense of what's right and does it.

Growing up, it was normal for me that my parents were on the television. I remember mum used to be on the radio and I would call in and ask her to play songs for me and my friends and I thought that was very cool.

Dad is in the public eye a lot more now in a different way and that is just something we have all had to get used to.

I'm very proud of my parents, particularly my mum. She left school in fifth year and has had an amazing career in television and now she is teaching.

She also does some amazing work with the charity Aware Defeat Depression. She gets letters from people all the time saying how much one of her talks helped them. She has a really important role to play."

A career in the media spotlight

  • Lynda Bryans began her media career in 1981, working as a temporary copy typist for UTV that summer which was followed by a job working as a secretary in the Religious Affairs department at BBC Northern Ireland
  • She went on to become a newsreader and reporter on BBC's Inside Ulster, as well as reading daytime news bulletins for BBC NI
  • She also reported and presented for the BBC News and Current Affairs series, Here and Now, co-presented with Rolf Harris on Animal Hospital in 1994 and the Holiday programme until 2007

Belfast Telegraph

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