Belfast Telegraph

Lynne lands dream role as the face of country music TV channel after giving up politics career

By Amanda Ferguson

A Co Antrim woman is the new face of Europe's only dedicated country music channel, Keep It Country TV.

Lynne McDowell from Ahoghill has landed a hosting gig alongside Phil Mack, who is well-known among Ireland's country music fans for his self-titled TV show which has been running for around five years.

London-based Lynne (33) co-hosts the Phil Mack Country Music show every Monday night at 9pm.

"The response has been overwhelming from Ireland and the reaction from the US has been incredible too," she said.

Lynne is as happy listening to new country artists as she is the older generation of stars.

"Having just been to the huge Country to Country Festival in London last week, I would say Chris Stapleton is one of my favourites," she added.

"I grew up listening to country music thanks to my dad and the artist I love most is John Michael Montgomery. It is great that with country music there is a lovely mixture of artists with strong appeal to a number of generations.

"It is really encouraging to see."

The former Ballymena Academy pupil started her career working for Jim Allister when he was a DUP MEP in Brussels. She swapped politics for the music industry in 2008 when she landed a job with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) - a trade body for record labels and the people behind the BRIT Awards - where she became head of public relations.

Last March Lynne set up Well Red, consulting for music and TV companies, including the Country Music Association based in Nashville.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to work for Jim Allister in Strasbourg and Brussels," she said.

"The desire was strong to work in music so I gave up politics to follow my dream in London."

Lynne has been filming for Keep It Country TV at Phil Mack's studio in Essex since the channel launched on Sky at the end of January.

She added: "Phil is an absolute superstar. He is genuine, a lovely man, full of fun and is very passionate about country music, especially artists from Ireland."

Keep It Country TV is on Sky 389, Freesat 516 and on Freeview from April.

Belfast Telegraph


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