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Incident the latest headline for Mike Nesbitt, a man rarely far from the spotlight

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Mike Nesbitt at UTV

Mike Nesbitt at UTV

Mike Nesbitt at UTV

Mike Nesbitt began his career as a broadcaster, starting out as a sports presenter at BBC NI.

Revelations about the politician's breach of lockdown rules to see a female friend during the Covid-19 outbreak are the latest headlines in a life lived among them.

He covered major events, including two World Cups, and interviewed some of the biggest names in sport before moving into news with a presenting job on Radio Ulster's flagship Good Morning Ulster between 1986 and 1990.

Mr Nesbitt then worked for two years with PR company Anderson Kenny, before joining UTV in 1992 as a reporter and presenter.

He became one of the channel's biggest names, and it was during this time he co-hosted UTV's evening news programme with wife Lynda Bryans.

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Co-hosting the news with wife Lynda Bryans

Co-hosting the news with wife Lynda Bryans

Co-hosting the news with wife Lynda Bryans

The couple also presented a weekly religious series together, Sunday Morning, for Anglia Television between 1999 and 2001, as well as two series of a house and garden series Home Sweet Home for UTV.

The pair were married in 1992, both for the second time, just months after Ms Bryans proposed in New York.

They went on to have two sons.

Mr Nesbitt left UTV in 2006 and two years later became Victims Commissioner, a role designed to promote the interests of victims of the Troubles.

He stepped down in 2010 when he joined the Ulster Unionists, running as a candidate for the then Ulster Conservatives and Unionists: New Force in the Westminster elections, but was beaten by the DUP's Jim Shannon.

The following year, Mr Nesbitt was elected to the Assembly for the first time, as one of six MLAs for Strangford.

In 2012, he became leader of the UUP, taking over from Tom Elliott and defeating South Down MLA John McCallister.

His already-established public persona and confident approach offered hope he could rejuvenate the party's image, and boost its declining popularity.

He told how he wanted the UUP become "the party of choice for every pro-Union voter in Northern Ireland."

Following the Assembly elections in 2016, Mr Nesbitt led the UUP into official opposition at Stormont along with the SDLP.

However, strong criticism about his close working partnership with the nationalist party, and leader Colum Eastwood in particular, did little to transform the results at the polls.

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As UUP leader with SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2016

As UUP leader with SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2016

As UUP leader with SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2016

In 2017, Mr Nesbitt stood down as leader after the UUP performed poorly in the assembly election. Both the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP went on to lose every seat they'd held at Westminster later that year.

He said he was "the one who said this should be Northern Ireland's first post-sectarian election based on the economy and education and health and housing and that I had a different vision but the electorate disagreed. They certainly did not give me a mandate big enough for me to feel justified in continuing in this position so I shall not."

Since then, Mr Nesbitt has carried on in his role as MLA.

Belfast Telegraph