Labours of Love earn Walter place in Hall of Fame
He has been on the airwaves since the tender age of 11 and now legendary broadcaster Walter Love has been admitted to Irish radio's hall of fame.
But the modest BBC Radio Ulster presenter said he had made so many broadcasting blunders in his decades on the air, that he expected to be put in the hall of blame.
Love attended the Phonographic Performance Ireland Radio Awards Hall of Fame ceremony yesterday at the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland offices in Dublin.
Recipients are chosen by their peers and range from national to local radio broadcasters. Former Downtown Radio DJ Candy Devine was inducted last year and it's likely the late Gerry Anderson will be admitted posthumously.
Good-humoured Love, who currently presents the Sunday evening Jazz Club programme on Radio Ulster, said he had to double-check the letter informing him of the honour to ensure it was actually intended for him.
"I've been involved in so many minor broadcasting disasters over the years that I'd more expect to be inducted into the Hall of Blame," the 79-year-old said.
"This is an unexpected but deeply appreciated honour and I am eternally grateful to the PPI Radio Awards Committee for making me a recipient.
"Broadcasting has been an incredibly significant part of my life and I often say BBC Radio Ulster is my third family.
"Throughout my broadcasting career – which is virtually my entire life – have always felt very supported and encouraged and I certainly wouldn't be here today without them."
BBC NI head of radio Fergus Keeling said: "Next year BBC Radio Ulster celebrates its 40th anniversary and Walter has been here since the beginning.
"He is a much-loved and admired member of the BBC Radio Ulster family and a gentleman in the truest sense."
BBC NI director Peter Johnston said: "Walter is one of BBC Northern Ireland's longest-serving and best-loved presenters. His dulcet tones have entertained listeners on BBC Radio Ulster for decades.
"This award is a fitting recognition of the esteem in which he is held by all of us."