Belfast Telegraph

Promote Twelfth more, BBC urged by Ulster Unionist

By Staff Reporter

An Ulster Unionist MLA has urged the BBC to promote the Twelfth on its weather forecast.

Danny Kennedy met with top level BBC management in Belfast to urge the corporation to "give the Twelfth of July celebrations the coverage they deserve".

Mr Kennedy said he cited a number of festivals and events which the BBC had highlighted their weather forecasts – the All Ireland Fleadh in Londonderry last year, St Patrick's Day, the Belfast Half Marathon and the International Guitar Festival in Newtownards last September.

"I asked for increased coverage, especially using the weather forecast service to highlight Twelfth venues, and greater promotion of the planned BBC coverage through the use of trailers on TV and radio," he said.

"My request is simple. The Twelfth remains the single biggest annual cultural event in Northern Ireland. It is celebrated right across the country with great colour and spectacle by literally hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators, including visitors from Great Britain and the Republic as well as international tourists.

"With that in mind, I believe that the Twelfth should get similar billing and positive promotion as other events. I told the BBC that whilst I welcome the live coverage being given to Markethill this year, I will be closely monitoring the promotional coverage in advance and will encourage others to do likewise and make their views known to BBC NI."

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