Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

I belong at UTV

It is like coming home, says television veteran

Northern Ireland Television presenter Rose Neill
Northern Ireland Television presenter Rose Neill

Rose Neill has revealed she is ‘going home’ when she returns to our TV screens later today — reading the news for UTV. The popular presenter began her broadcasting career with Ulster Television more than three decades ago.



And less than a year after her shock departure from the BBC, Rose is making a return to newsreading and presenting with the Belfast-based TV station.

Her colleagues at the BBC were left in a state of shock following her abrupt exit last August.

Despite being one of Northern Ireland’s most popular and well-loved TV presenters, her contract was not renewed following more than 20 years’ service.

The 50-year old was an integral part of a UTV programme based on Titanic memorabilia, which was screened earlier this year.

After spending time in the newsroom, Rose agreed to go back on a part-time basis both presenting and reading the news.

After almost a year’s absence from our screens, Rose will be back on TV today when she presents UTV’s main news bulletin.

The Killinchy woman said: “’When I was in UTV recently it was great to see so many familiar faces and old friends.

“I felt there was a sense of camaraderie and a feeling of team spirit in the newsroom. They all seemed to be pulling in the same direction.

“I am delighted to be going back to UTV. I am very enthusiastic.

“I feel like I am going home!” Rose’s return was confirmed by Orla McKibbin, head of communications with UTV Television, who said: “Rose is one of Northern Ireland's most popular presenters and we are delighted to have her back on UTV again this Sunday following the huge success of her Titanic Sales programme earlier this year.

“Viewers can look forward to seeing more of Rose on UTV in the coming months as she has agreed to do presenter shifts and various news bulletins when cover is required.”

She began her broadcasting career with Ulster Television in 1978 as a children’s presenter before working as a continuity announcer.

The mum-of-two moved to BBC Northern Ireland in 1985 and enjoyed a successful career presenting Inside Ulster and its replacement BBC Newsline. She also presented her own daily afternoon talk show on Radio Ulster for several years while working for the broadcasting giants.

When her contract was not renewed last August, colleagues were left shocked at her abrupt departure.

Speaking to the Sunday Life earlier this year, Rose admitted she cried when she left the Beeb, but said her sudden exit was a mere “hiccup” in her career.

She also revealed that when she left UTV in 1985 for the BBC it was a “very amicable departure”.

Describing UTV as her “alma mater”, Rose said: “I left on a very happy note and they said, ‘Any time you want to come back the door is always open’.”

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