Belfast Telegraph

Veteran sports presenter out in the cold in newsline shake-up

BBC axe star Jackie from TV studio slot

By Maureen Coleman mcoleman@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

VETERAN sports presenter Jackie Fullerton is to be sidelined from his studio presenting role in a BBC shake-up, it was revealed today.


VETERAN sports presenter Jackie Fullerton is to be sidelined from his studio presenting role in a BBC shake-up, it was revealed today.

The 60-year-old anchor man, who has worked in broadcasting for 30 years, will no longer present the sports slot on the Newsline programme which goes out at 6.30pm.

It is understood Jackie will continue to report on sport and to take part in outside broadcasts, but will not work in the studio.

The move is believed to be part of a Newsline shake-up by BBC bosses, which will include a new studio set.

The news that smooth-talking Jackie is being axed as a studio presenter has shocked staff within BBC Broadcasting House, particularly as he has regularly topped popularity polls and has long been considered the face of BBC sports coverage in Northern Ireland.

One insider said: "Everyone's really surprised and astonished at this move.

"Jackie tops the opinion polls all the time as the most popular presenter and to move him from the studio seems a very strange thing to do.

"Even if he is still out and about reporting, he has, in effect, been axed as a presenter."

Jackie, who will soon turn 61, had expressed an interest in reducing his workload, but sources say the news has still come as a big shock to him.

A spokesman for BBC Northern Ireland said: "Jackie is one of Northern Ireland's best known and most respected sports commentators.

"He is the acknowledged expert commentator and presenter across a wide range of BBC Northern Ireland sporting output and continues to be an integral part of the BBC Newsline team."

Before moving to the BBC, he worked for UTV.

During one memorable report he was famously lifted up and dropped to the floor by wrestling champ Giant Haystacks.

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