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Connor Phillips kicks off BBC Radio Ulster show with tribute to the late Stephen Clements

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Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips

Broadcaster Connor Phillips paid tribute to his close friend and colleague Stephen Clements as he kicked off his first show on BBC Radio Ulster.

In a nod to the broadcasters who have gone before him, including Gerry Anderson, Sean Coyle and the late Stephen Clements, the Co Armagh native said he was “excited beyond words" to be sat in "one of the most iconic chairs in radio".

As he introduced The Connor Phillips Show for the first time, the 38-year-old admitted: "The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up."

The mid-morning slot was left vacant after presenter Stephen Clements passed away suddenly on January 6, aged 47.

During his show, Connor paid tribute to Stephen, who he described as "a legend".

"Stephen Clements was previously in this seat and he should still be here. He should still be entertaining you," Connor said.

"I worked with Stephen in his first radio job at a commercial radio station and we became very good friends and we stayed friends for many years.

"In January we lost Stephen and this show lost Stephen. We lost his naughty, cheeky smile, we lost his warmth.

"He would regularly text me the letter ‘K’ which meant ‘karma’. His mantra in life was be nice to people and people will be nice to you and he was one of the nicest."

Before dedicating a track to the late presenter, Connor said: "Every time I was at a radio station I would take a photograph of my screen any time I’d play one specific song, and he would do the same, because there was one song that he lived his life by and it was a song we shared and I hope I can share this with you this morning.

"For my friend, who became your friend, this is Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson."

Listeners took to Twitter to share their support for the Jonesborough man after his first mid-morning weekday show on Radio Ulster.

"Good show this morning, making it your own," wrote one listener. "Thanks for making me gurn in the car with Man In the Mirror... was always gonna happen. All the best with everything."

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Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips

Connor Phillips

Another said, "Tuned in this morning just in time to hear such a lovely, heartfelt tribute to Stephen Clements. So apt that his good friend is now presenting the show. Well done, great show."

One user applauded Connor for a show featuring "amazing tunes and great craic".

"Well done! Dancing around my kitchen. Haven’t done that in a while," they tweeted.

Connor joins BBC Radio Ulster with a broadcasting career spanning TV, commercial radio – both in Northern Ireland and across the UK – hosting national radio across a range of genre from news and current affairs, sport, music and talk shows.

His most recent work has been with the BBC in Manchester presenting a weekend phone-in show that is broadcast simultaneously on BBC Manchester and BBC Merseyside.

The Connor Phillips Show is on BBC Radio Ulster, Monday to Friday at 10.30am and also on BBC Sounds

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