Belfast Telegraph

Positive reception as Clements takes over Radio Ulster's Sean Coyle slot

Support: Stephen Clements
Support: Stephen Clements
Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

Stephen Clements returned to the airwaves as he kicked off his first show on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday.

The popular presenter announced his departure from the Q Radio breakfast show in June.

Introducing The Stephen Clements Show, he addressed the backlash from fans of veteran broadcaster Sean Coyle, who was axed from the 10.30am slot last month.

Clements said: "What I would like to say is: some people will know me, some people won't know me, but I would just like to say I'm full of gratitude."

He added: "I'm so privileged that I'm working for the BBC and I hope that I do the BBC proud, I hope that I do the legends that have been in this show before me proud, and most of all I hope that I do myself proud."

The 46-year-old revealed there had been "meetings about meetings" alongside countless emails debating what song he would open the show with - before he was told the bosses were going to choose it for him.

"I didn't realise how crucial it was going to be. I gave a load of songs, all of which were instantly dismissed," said Clements.

"So you may have heard Stephen Nolan talk about 'the suits', which I just thought was his slang term for the people at the top, but I got an email from the suits sent to me.

"'Dear Stephen, welcome to the organisation. Behave yourself. The first song is crucial on BBC Radio Ulster on your first show. We want to absolve you of responsibility. We have chosen a song that we feel is perfect, that reflects how we feel, that reflects how the listeners feel and reflects how the staff in here feel.'

"So, I don't know what this song is," he said.

Pressing play, Clements initially believed the opening track to be Ice Ice Baby by rapper Vanilla Ice, before realising he'd been set up by the suits, who had chosen Queen's 1981 hit, Under Pressure.

"Are you actually serious? This is what they've chosen? This is not helping," said the nervous star.

Listeners took to Twitter to share their support for the Carrickfergus man after his first BBC radio show.

Northern Ireland mentalist David Meade took to Twitter saying: "First song genius."

He later tweeted again saying: "What a start - go nail it dude!"

Meanwhile another listener said: "I've never listened to BBC Radio Ulster but there is a first for everything. Saved the station this morning ready for Stephen Clements' first show on it. Top job so far, best of luck Stephen."

Another said: "Really enjoying Stephen Clements' debut show on BBC Radio Ulster - great music and he sounds quare craic."

"First song classic. Good luck you'll be fantastic," another added.

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