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Good Morning Ulster presenters Noel Thompson and Karen Patterson host last show after nearly a decade

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News hounds: Noel Thompson, Karen Patterson and Joel Taggart

News hounds: Noel Thompson, Karen Patterson and Joel Taggart

News hounds: Noel Thompson, Karen Patterson and Joel Taggart

Good Morning Ulster presenters Noel Thompson and Karen Patterson have presented their last radio show together after almost eight years.

The BBC said they took the opportunity to stand down following a review into its schedules and programmes and they would be taking on new challenges and "enjoy a change of pace".

The broadcasting duo welcomed an abundance of messages of support and best wishes as they closed Thursday’s show.

“Karen, as this is your last morning, just wanted to wish you and all the other presenters leaving good luck and best wishes,” wrote listener Alan from Bangor.

“I listen to Radio Ulster every morning and you and all the others are the reason I do. You’ve been great to listen to and very professional. I know there are fine presenters coming behind you.”

He added: “Good luck Noel and Karen for the future. I, like all your listeners, will miss you loads. You are two friends that have brightened every morning.”

Former UUP Director of Communications and commentator Alex Kane recalled beginning “many, many mornings” listening to Karen and Noel.

“One of those double acts that just works,” he said.

Noel, who will continue to present the show until March, said it had been an “absolute delight” to present Good Morning Ulster alongside Karen.

“Seven and a half years has gone in a flash. You’ve been an easy-going, even-tempered presence and I couldn’t have imagined doing it with someone else.”

“I couldn’t have had a better radio husband,” Karen doted.

Noel Thompson began his BBC career 40 years ago and has fronted the broadcaster's television news and current affairs programmes Newsline, Spotlight and Hearts and Minds.

Karen Patterson has been with the BBC for almost 20 years ago. She worked on television news broadcasts before moving to radio.

BBC NI said each of the long-standing presenters' contribution to broadcasting will be marked later in the year.

Belfast Telegraph