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New year and new tunes for BBC's Good Morning Ulster


New hosts of Good Morning Ulster Sarah Brett and Chris Buckler

New hosts of Good Morning Ulster Sarah Brett and Chris Buckler

New hosts of Good Morning Ulster Sarah Brett and Chris Buckler

Northern Ireland woke up to a new sound on Monday morning as the BBC's Good Morning Ulster had a revamp.

Listeners were greeted with a more serene intro music dominated by piano in contrast the the previous drum-led beat of the past 6.30am starts.

"Welcome to the programme," presenter Chris Buckler said, "you may have noticed there's a few wee changes this morning.

"Just a little bit of music ...."

While most of the programme remained the same, some of the features, such as thought for the day, were run at different times.

"New Year, new tunes," chipped in co-host Sarah Brett before Mr Buckler offered the listeners the chance to have their say.

And opinion was divided.

One text - from Freddie - was read out on the show saying he didn't like it.

"I think Freddie might be playing devil's advocate a bit," said Ms Brett.

"How can you not like that?

"Wonderful new music we all absolutely love so, sucks boo to you."

Another said the change in tone made the show sound like the popular American show Baywatch.

"I keep expecting Chris and Sarah to blow a whistle," the message added.

"I'm the Hoff," added Ms Brett.

Opinion - as it always is - was divided on social media.

One Twitter users said it reminded them of Pebble Mill - the BBC's mid-morning light magazine show from the early 1990s.

"Hoping the new ‘incidental’ / continuity music grows on me," they added. "I suppose that fact that I noticed means it is sort of working!! I’m not sure yet."

Belfast Telegraph columnist Gareth Brown said it sounded good.

Another described it as "desperate".

Last year the BBC's flagship early morning news programme went through a transformation after regular presenters Noel Thompson and Karen Patterson departed.

Chris Buckler and Sarah Brett joined regular Joel Taggart on the show in April.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Sarah Brett explained getting the position was a dream job for her, although with the impact of the pandemic, it had meant she was unable to actually see her co-host Chris Buckler in person as she was working remotely.

"GMU was the job that I always really wanted," she said.

"It's BBC NI's flagship breakfast programme. It's had superb presenters down through the years and is a massive honour. I thought I was ready for it."

While Chris Buckler said it had been a challenge to work without a co host within sight.

Belfast Telegraph