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Belfast-born Maxine Mawhinney is delighted to announce a good news royal story

By Nevin Farrell

Published 04/05/2015

Maxine breaking the news of the royal birth on the BBC on Saturday
Maxine breaking the news of the royal birth on the BBC on Saturday

From the worst of times to the best of times, it seems Northern Ireland journalist Maxine Mawhinney is the go-to reporter when it comes to the big breaking royal stories.

Maxine was presenting on the BBC the night in 1997 when the horror news came in that Princess Diana had died in Paris, but at the weekend she was also working when the world learned the good news that Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their own baby princess.

Maxine said: "I was the on-air presenter for the whole night (of Diana's death) from the moment the news came in, so I seem to have a bit of a royal connection."

In contrast, the popular reporter was overjoyed to cover such a happy story about the birth of the royal tot to William and Kate in London.

She described her role in breaking the news, saying: "We all knew it was coming so were sort of prepared, as the television news is, but actually it happened so quickly so I had gone on air at 10am and we were all thinking, well she went in at 6am, so it could be mid-afternoon, so I was interviewing some guests, talking around it, and suddenly, in my ear they said 'It's a girl, it's a girl' so I just immediately said 'we have got news, it is a girl' and they flashed it all up over the screen and we just sort of went from there.

"It was an interesting day because BBC1 decided they wanted much more coverage as well so we had lots of extra BBC1 bulletins which of course I did as well.

"Then the coverage rolled on through the day, so I finished at 4pm but I think I was quite lucky when the news came in after 11am that I got the actual announcement and the most exciting bit really, apart from when they all came out later on the steps.

"I was absolutely delighted to announce it, it was nice to have a happy story, because news tends to be bad because that is what leads the bulletins, but this was just such a happy story with all the people we interviewed in the street, there was a nice feelgood factor."

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