Video: Deal secures UTV's archive for the people of Northern Ireland - watch some of the highlights
Almost 60 years of UTV material will now be stored at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and will be available for viewing.
The new agreement between PRONI, Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive and ITV aims to safeguard the extensive catalogue of the station's archive material dating back over the past 59 years.
The catalogue includes golden moments such as a young George Best being interviewed at 17 and taking his driving test, hit series including School Around The Corner and The Kelly Show, as well as famous interviews with international stars like Elton John, Sean Connery, Billy Connolly and Garth Brooks.
There will also be a hearty collection of early career breaks for some of our best-known broadcasters including Gloria Hunniford and Eamonn Holmes.
Terry Brennan, head of news and programmes at UTV, said: "The importance of this rich archive cannot be underestimated. This partnership is the culmination of many months of hard work, with all partners dedicated to ensuring that the UTV archive is protected and preserved for many years to come."
The move to protect the UTV catalogue will be funded by the Department for Communities through PRONI and will include an ongoing digitisation process.
Michael Willis, director at PRONI, said: "The UTV archive is one the most significant additions to PRONI's collections in many years, encapsulating as it does the history of Northern Ireland during the latter part of the 20th century.
"Preserving the archive is paramount to protect our rich and diverse culture and to enable future generations to see how events large and small have helped shape who we are today. I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen, and look forward to seeing UTV archive footage becoming available through the Digital Film Archive."
The archives will be publicly accessible via Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive and through outreach programmes.
Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with PRONI to ensure the UTV archive collection is retained in Northern Ireland.
"We are delighted that, as part of this collaboration, the public will have access to Northern Ireland's moving image heritage in a way that is stimulating, entertaining and sustainable.
"PRONI's involvement with this project will ensure the preservation of significant material from UTV's archive, reflecting various key moments in Northern Ireland's history.
"Of course, not only does this include the momentous political junctures of our past, but also the light-hearted entertainment programmes which brought so much joy to the people of Northern Ireland."
UTV first went on air in 1959.
Discover more programmes from UTV archive at Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive https://digitalfilmarchive.net