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Sunday, 23 April 2017


I was born and raised in Belfast. I have family and friends there. I keep in touch with the creative arts and brilliant talent from there. I try to blog and support local artists. I listen to BBC Radio Ulster. I love a lot of the output. Occasionally, no frequently, I realise how much I miss Gerry Anderson.

I haven't lived in Belfast for 40 years. But it still has a power over me, it still influences me and its still personal because I have a lot of family there. The Internet allows me access to the wonders thriving in my home town, and there are more positives than negatives in that great city.

I love the work of John Toal, Gerry Kelly, Kerry McLean, Marie Louise-Muir, Ralph McLean, Mickey Bradley, Hugo Duncan and many more.

I don't listen to the phone-ins. Blood pressure!!!

I have been lucky enough to have been interviewed by John Toal, Gerry Kelly and Michael Bradley, lovely moments. In my own orbit, I feel a personal connection to BBC Radio Ulster. Others in their orbits might think differently. Whatever. I'm a fan.

Gerry Anderson left us in 2014 at 69 and, along with me, a huge number of listeners were , no are, bereft.

He was unique. A brilliant broadcaster who could ramble for half an hour on something that from the outset sounded trivial. He sparred beautifully with his compadre Sean Coyle.

Now  Sean has the plum mid-morning slot on Radio Ulster and he does it superbly in his unassuming and very down-to-earth manner.

But, and I am not being disparaging in any way to Sean, I keep thinking about the next rebel broadcaster, the next free spirit on Radio Ulster who could match Gerry. Is that possible? Is that impossible?

Is there a Gerry Anderson for the next decade out there, someone who could master a radio microphone, someone with the skills to be on the edge, over the edge, fearless, frightening and, above all, funny?

I don't know, but I hope so.

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