Belfast Telegraph

Jackie decides to stay with Beeb

By Steven Beacom

Popular broadcaster Jackie Fullerton has decided to resist overtures from Sky television to stay with the BBC.

Fullerton has agreed to a new rolling contract with BBC Northern Ireland saying that his heart lies at Broadcasting House.

BBC chiefs were left fuming when Sky nipped in to complete a £10 million deal with the Irish FA giving the satellite station exclusive rights to show Northern Ireland home games for four years from 2008.

When news broke that Sky had spoken to Fullerton, there were fears it would be a double whammy for the Beeb, but the 64-year-old from Ballymena has decided to stay put.

" I was very flattered to be approached by Sky but the bottom line is that I'm happy at the BBC," Jackie told The Belfast Telegraph.

" After 15 years at Broadcasting House, I guess you could say my heart lies there.

"Three years ago when I had heart surgery I was revitalised and as long as my desire and enthusiasm remains I hope to be behind the microphone for some time to come.

"The BBC have a negotiated a new contract with the Irish FA to screen highlights of Northern Ireland home games and to show local football. That keeps me in the international arena and I'm very happy about that.

"I also hope to make more programmes like Healy, the documentary on David Healy, which was aired last week.

"It proved to be a ratings winner with an audience high of 125,000 and average of 95,000 which was actually higher than the network equivalent. I knew Healy would be a great attraction and hopefully I can do more work like that."

Belfast Telegraph

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