Stephen Clements addresses Sean Coyle controversy as he kicks off new BBC Radio Ulster show
Radio presenter Stephen Clements was back on the airwaves as he kicked off his first show on BBC Radio Ulster on Monday.
The popular presenter announced his departure from the Q Radio breakfast show in June.
He began working with BBC NI over the summer as part of their coverage of the Open Golf Championship at Royal Portrush.
Clements' new weekday show was introduced by his colleague Stephen Nolan who welcomed him to "the most incredible broadcasting organisation in the world".
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.
An online petition urging the BBC to reinstate him garnered over 7,000 signatures and a new Radio Foyle show for Coyle was later announced.
"There has been a wee bit of controversy which I learnt about when I was by a pool in Spain," said Clements.
"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 and proud 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."
When I was wee (in between Poppy & Robbies ages) I used to pretend to be 2 things: 1) a player for MUFC 2) on BBC radio...Posted by Stephen Clements on Sunday, September 22, 2019
The 46-year-old revealed there had been "meetings about meetings" alongside countless emails debating what song he would open the show with.
"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.
There’s always a lot of pressure on your first day on the job… @radiostephen kicked off his new show today with the perfect song 🎵#TheStephenClementsShow is live weekdays at 10:30am on BBC Radio Ulster. pic.twitter.com/voeJqrC73K— BBC Northern Ireland (@BBCnireland) September 23, 2019
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 radio star.
Listeners took to Twitter to share their support for the Carrickfergus man after his first BBC radio show.
Good luck @radiostephen On your first @bbcradioulster! Been listening all morning, you sound just truly where u are meant to be 👍 your woman talking/semi singing that jingle was 😂! #TheStephenClementsShow— Lindsey Hall (@elinshall) September 23, 2019
I’ve never listened to @bbcradioulster but there is a first for everything saved the station this morning ready for @radiostephen first show on it, Top job so far, best of luck Stephen pic.twitter.com/9qiNXcLKlR— Robert bell (@B0bby11) September 23, 2019
Belfast Telegraph Digital