Belfast Telegraph

Dearbhail McDonald and Shane Todd to join BBC Radio Ulster for all-new schedule

Kerry McClean at work
Kerry McClean at work

BBC Radio Ulster has revealed its new schedule in one of its biggest shake-ups in recent years.

Lynette Fay, Dearbhail McDonald, Kathy Clugston, Kerry McLean, Vinny Hurrell, Shane Todd and Dave Ellliott are all among the line-up of presenters set to host new shows on the station across the week, covering everything from sport to current affairs and rural matters to the arts, music, comedy and entertainment.

The new line-up announcement comes after the controversial decision to axe veteran broadcaster Sean Coyle from his 10.30am Radio Ulster slot which was met with massive fan backlash.

Coyle was replaced with former Q Radio presenter Stephen Clements, but after a petition calling for the Derry man to be reinstated garnered over 7,00 signatures, it was announced that The Sean Coyle Show would return to the air, this time being broadcast on Radio Foyle on weekdays from 3-5pm.

Newry-born journalist, author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald is to present Sunday With Dearbhail on BBC Radio Ulster
Newry-born journalist, author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald is to present Sunday With Dearbhail on BBC Radio Ulster

The latest schedule changes, together with the recently announced changes to specialist music programming on weeknights, will all begin from Monday 21 October.

"Thrilled" to be joining BBC Radio Ulster on Sundays will be Newry-born Dearbhail McDonald, as she presents Sunday With Dearbhail from 11am-1pm, bringing an in-depth look at current affairs, interviews, discussion and analysis, including an essential guide to the Sunday papers.

A new programme with Kerry McLean sees the presenter swap her weekday afternoon show for a 2-4pm slot on Sundays.

McLean took to Twitter to inform her loyal listeners of the move saying "closing time" had been called on her weekday show after almost six "fantastic" years.

She said she was "forever grateful" for being allowed to get to know her many legions of fans who she thought of as friends and hoped they would tune in to her new Sunday show.

Running from Monday to Thursdays from 3-4pm, The Lynette Fay Show will aim to ease listeners through the school run, brighten up tea breaks or just while away the afternoon with some great music.

Shane Todd
Shane Todd

On Fridays, The Vinny Hurrell Show will build listeners up for the weekend with music and a bit of craic from 3-4pm.

Northern Ireland comedians Shane Todd and Dave Elliot put the week behind them with irreverent humour and ridiculous games, laced with live music and contributions from listeners from 6-7.30pm.

Lynette Fay will also present Folk Club on Friday nights as previously announced.

Evening Extra is in the new extended drive time slot of 4-6pm from Mondays to Fridays and Inside Politics will now be on Fridays at the new time of 5.30pm, with a brand new range of early evening programmes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

These kick off with Nikki Gregg on Mondays from 6-7pm with Sportsound Extra Time, as Nikki and the sports panel discuss the biggest stories making the back pages featuring exclusive interviews, analysis and debate.

On Tuesdays, Nicola Weir will present Farming Matters, also from 6-7pm, with voices, views, stories, news and chat from Northern Ireland’s rural community, as well as bringing listeners livestock and weather reports.

On Wednesdays from 6-7pm there’s another chance to hear some of BBC Radio Ulster’s best radio documentaries and comedies, including returning programmes Perforated Ulster and The Blame Game and the new BBC Radio Ulster sitcom, How To Have A Northern Irish Wedding, from up-and-coming Belfast writer Ciaran Bartlett.

Also on Wednesdays, Wah Yan Jee Sing will now be broadcast at the slightly later time of 10.55pm.

For everything from blockbuster movies to comedy gigs on Thursdays, Kathy Clugston presents The Ticket from 6-7pm.

Lynette Fay joins BBC Radio Ulster’s daytime schedule presenting a new show from Monday to Thursday from 3-4pm
Lynette Fay joins BBC Radio Ulster’s daytime schedule presenting a new show from Monday to Thursday from 3-4pm

Gerry Kelly, who announced on Monday that he would be stepping down from his Friday afternoon slot, will present his Saturday show in the new time of 12pm through to 1pm.

BBC Radio Ulster’s award-winning radio documentary strand moves from Sunday lunchtime to Saturday in a new time slot of 1-1.30pm, followed by Inside Business, which moves to the new time of 1.30-2pm.

Marie-Louise Muir focuses on the arts on Saturdays from 6-7pm with The Culture Cafe.

From the page to the stage, join Marie-Louise as she hosts the essential cultural conversation, followed by Caschlár with Brian Mullen at the new time of 7-9pm.

Later in the day, Jazz World with Linley Hamilton moves from Friday to Saturday in the new time slot of 9-10pm.

On Sundays, Brian D’Arcy’s Sunday show will now broadcast from 1-2pm, followed by Kerry McLean's new show from 2-4pm, as she helps listeners wind down their weekend and sets the mood for the week ahead with music and conversation.

Kaz Hawkins is set to return for a brand new six-part series with an hour long trip down the blues highway from 4-5pm and Classical Connections With John Toal will now broadcast at the new time of 7-9pm.

Eddie Doyle, BBC Northern Ireland senior head of content production, said: “Following on from our recent announcement around specialist music on weekday evenings, and the appointment of Stephen Clements in the mid-morning weekday slot, these continue to be exciting times for radio here in Northern Ireland.

"Our commitment remains to broaden appeal with our listeners in mind, while we introduce and develop new and upcoming talent on the airwaves.”

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