Continuity

Last updated: 27th February 2003

 

ADRIENNE McGUILL/CATHERWOOD (1959-1969)

Adrienne was one of the original team of announcers at Ulster Television when it went on air in 1959.  Staying for ten years, Adrienne was the first host of UTV's version of The Romper Room.  She is the mother of former Check It Out reporter and ITN newscaster/reporter Andrea Catherwood.

 

RAYMOND MAXWELL (late 1960s/early 1970s)

As well as announcing for UTV, Raymond also worked at RTÉ in the 1970s, and was one of the hosts of the RTÉ2 opening night gala in 1978.

 

PETER MARSHALL (late 1960s-early 1970s)

COURTESY OF THE CONTINUITY BOOTH

Derry-born Peter's long and prestigious announcing career started at Havelock House, and his stint as a continuity announcer.  On his move across the water in the early 1970s, Peter announced at Southern, Anglia and HTV West, but he is best known for his announcing at Thames, between 1975 and 1988.  He also hosted a revival of Sale of the Century on Sky in 1989.  Nowadays, Peter works as a DJ for SAGA FM.

 

EDGAR MARTIN (early 1970s)

Briefly an announcer at Ulster Television, by 1977, Edgar Martin had moved to the Continuity Department at BBC Northern Ireland, where he remains today.

 

JOHN O'HARA (early 1970s-1984)

When he was 18 years old, John O'Hara wrote to Ulster Television looking for a job.  After much perseverance, he was eventually accepted, and after a few years working behind the scenes, he progressed to continuity announcing and was UTV's Senior Announcer for almost 10 years.  Since leaving UTV's continuity department in 1984, John has carved out a niche as a prolific voiceover artist, most notably on Northern Irish television commercials and corporate videos which he continues today.  In fact, John even has him own home page on the Web, which you can find here.  Proving what goes around comes around, John is also the main voice behind the Thursday UTV Jobnet programme, launched in May 2001.  

 

LYNDA JAYNE CAITHNESS (1975-1978)

Lynda Jayne Caithness, as she was known in her days as a continuity announcer, worked at UTV for around three years, before moving to Downtown Radio as a presenter.  She married fellow DTR presenter Trevor "Big-T" Campbell in 1983, and they hosted their own show on Downtown together for over 15 years, as well as their own separate shows.  They also ran a hotel on the Ards Peninsula.  Lynda Jayne was a campaigner for many charities in Northern Ireland, and returned to UTV many times during the 1980s and 1990s for a number of programmes and Community Service Announcements on behalf of various Northern Ireland charities.  Lynda Jayne died in April 2000.

 

KEITH HAYES (mid 1970s-1984)

Keith worked for around 10 years as a continuity announcer, and left UTV to pursue other careers in early 1984.

 

JJ MURPHY (1970s)

Also known as a prolific actor, most notably in the 1984 film version of Bernard McClaverty's Cal, JJ also hosted a local series called Countrystyle in the 1970s.

 

BILL SMITH (mid 1970s-1987)

Bill worked as a continuity announcer and newsreader on Ulster Television for almost 10 years, paralleling his other day job as a financial consultant.  After leaving UTV, Bill returned to the Northern Irish airwaves in 1999 as a newsreader on local radio station Belfast CityBeat.

 

JOANNE WOODS (late 1970s-1986)

Joanne, who succeeded John O'Hara as senior announcer at UTV, began her announcing duties in the late 1970s.  She left the Continuity Department in the mid 1980s to work behind the scenes at Havelock House.

 

DIANE McGLADDERY (late 1970s-early 1980s)

A part-time announcer, Diane covered for regular announcers on holiday relief.

 

ROSE NEILL (1980-1985)

Now better known as a newsreader on Inside Ulster and Newsline on BBC Northern Ireland, in the fledgling days of her broadcasting career Rose was a brown-haired continuity announcer for UTV, and mastered her current trade by reading news bulletins.  Her finest moment came in 1995 when she sang Like A Virgin after spinning the Big Rickety Wheel on BBC NI's PK Tonight.

 

KEITH BURNSIDE (1981-1996)

LEFT IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CONTINUITY BOOTH

Keith, from Comber, appeared on screen for 15 years as an announcer and newsreader, one of the longest serving announcers at UTV.  In 1988, he took over from the late Charles Witherspoon hosting Police Six, and its modern guise of Crimecall until its axing in December 2001.  Keith co-owns his own production company, Burnmac.  Keith has found a new career move of late, reading the news on Downtown Radio and Cool FM between 2000 and November 2002, and transferred to BBC Radio Ulster in December 2002.

 

JANET DONAGHY (1983-1984)

A former Miss Northern Ireland, Janet was a continuity announcer for UTV for around a year during the 1980s.  Current whereabouts are unknown.

 

JULIAN SIMMONS (1984-)

Everyone's favourite UTV continuity announcer!  Our Julian has been doing his bit on the UTV for almost 20 years, making him UTV's longest serving continuity announcer, and until a few years ago split his UTV announcing duties with his everyday job as an air steward for Air Canada. Starting out as merely an announcer/newscaster/ad voiceover artiste (one time famously choking on a fly while reading a news story on Ian Paisley), he soon gained notoriety for his humorous links before Coronation Street, which he still does today.  In 1992, the year when Julian stopped reading news bulletins, his Friday night continuity segments were titled Julian on Friday, where he read out viewer’s greetings (which he still does on Saturday nights), and introduced a weekly competition for a lucky UTV viewer to run dinner for two at Restaurant 44 in Belfast, and then have the best seats in the house for Kelly.  Julian then used to pick out the winner each week from a pink tombola between Kelly and Prisoner: Cell Block H after midnight on Friday.  He also featured in his own segments, Julian's Box, in the 1994/95 season of Kelly, and also in UTV idents in 1998, and two in 2002.  Despite its virtual abandoning of on screen continuity lately, UTV still lets Julian do his stuff on screen at the weekends.  Julian has also appeared on All Mixed Up and McKeever, and on Children in Need on the BBC. At one point Julian was almost offered his own show on UTV.  Sadly it never materialised...

 

PAMELA BALLANTINE (1984-1992)

LEFT IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CONTINUITY BOOTH

UTV's self-styled "Action Girl", Pamela first started out working at Downtown Radio in the early 1980s, as a news reporter, and newsreader.  In 1984 she made the break to television, announcing and reading news bulletins.  The strain of being a UTV continuity announcer made her hair go grey prematurely, what with also hosting Farming Ulster from 1990 till its death in 1992 and being the quizmaster on Ulster Schools Quiz at the same time.  Pamela filled in for Kate Smith when required on Six Tonight, and she became the second female anchor of UTV Live at Six in 1993, alternating with Kate.  Off screen, Pamela has an interest in rally driving, and has often been a co-driver in competitive rallies around Northern Ireland, as has been seen on many editions of RPM Motorsport.  Her interests in sport (she also enjoys golf) came in handy when presenting the Hot Pursuits series in 1993.  Pamela's presenting duties switched from UTV Live to UTV Life in 1999, and like many of her UTV colleagues, starred in some of UTV's new ident films first shown in December 2002.

 

BARBARA PALMER (1985-1991)

RIGHT IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CONTINUITY BOOTH

Barbara Palmer worked as an announcer and newsreader for UTV for 6 years, and left the station in 1991.  In late 2002, Barbara became a prominent commercial voiceover for Portadown based radio station Magic 105.

 

PATRICIA WILKINSON (mid 1980s)

Patricia served briefly as a UTV announcer in the mid 1980s, before transferring to Downtown Radio's news department.  In 1995, she began a five year tenure reading the early bulletins for Northern Ireland on GMTV, and is now working for the BBC Northern Ireland newsroom as a reporter, and occasional presenter of early morning news bulletins.

 

ALYSON HOGG (mid 1980s)

Another temporary announcer, Alyson's stay at Ulster Television was only for a few months.  Her current whereabouts are unknown.

 

FRANK MITCHELL (1987-1992)

From Burren, Co. Down, Frank was a presenter on Downtown Radio, before he began regular continuity duties at UTV in 1987. After almost six years announcing, he achieved immortality as becoming the UTV weatherman when UTV Live at Six launched in 1993.  He’s still at it today, with his Weather Watchers and catchphrase ("Take care, be good, Bye-Bye!")  Frank, a keen Gaelic enthusiast who played at minor level in his childhood, also provided commentary and reports for UTV's Gaelic football coverage, in both The Gaelic Game and UTV Live and was one of the panellist on UTV's Gaelic programme, End to End, in 2001. As well as getting his own UTV ident emulating Gene Kelly, and later a star of three different UTV ident sequences in 2002, Frank has hosted School Around The Corner since 1996, a series where he goes around primary schools and finds kids who can sing, dance or say ridiculous things all for a certificate.  In 1999, his presenting skills were employed again when he joined the UTV Life sofa.

 

TRACEY ANNE GRIFFITHS (1991-1996)

COURTESY OF THE CONTINUITY BOOTH

Replacing Barbara Palmer, Tracey Anne's pleaded for the UTV audience to "Stay with us!" for 5 years.  Like many of her colleagues, Tracey Anne worked as a newsreader for Downtown Radio before arriving at Havelock House.  She can now be heard on Channel 4 doing the same stuff that made her famous at Havelock House, and in June 2001 she also began announcing part-time for Living.

 

LATA SHARMA (1992-1993)

Lata Sharma announced for a few months in 1992.  After leaving UTV, she moved to the BBC, where she has made appearances on Holiday and Children In Need, and Lata has even had her own graveyard shift radio programme on BBC Radio 2.

 

AIDAN BROWNE (1993-)

Aidan Browne was one of the announcers to arrive at UTV before the 1993 relaunch.   As well as being an announcer, Aidan is also a lecturer of Theatre Studies at Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education, and he is also chairman of the Youth Lyric theatre group.  As well as announcing, mostly at weekends filling in for Julian Simmons, Aidan also presents news bulletins, and also does voiceovers for trailers and local ads.

 

GILLIAN PORTER (1993-)

Gillian was another of the new breed of announcers who arrived before the 1993 re-launch.  Before joining UTV, she was briefly an announcer at BBC Northern Ireland in the early 1990s.  As well as announcing, Gillian also filled in on UTV Live at Six, both as a newsreader and weather forecaster whenever needed.  Gillian also hosted the first incarnation of UTV Life when it was only broadcast on Sundays.  Gillian took time off in the summer of 2001 to have her first baby, Zara, who made her UTV debut that Christmas Day.

 

ROBIN TAYLOR (1993-)

Omagh-born Robin, another arrival at UTV before the relaunch in 1993, fits in his announcing duties while also being a physics teacher at Campbell College in Belfast.  Robin does local news bulletins, trailers, and local adverts, and normally works weekend and holiday shifts.

 

TINA CAMPBELL (1994-1997)

One of UTV's younger continuity announcers, Tina also filled in on UTV Live at Six, both reading news and presenting the weather forecast whenever Frank Mitchell was on holidays. Tina also hosted the 1997 and 1998 series of What Next? and was happy to get her hair cut for the benefit of a UTV ident in 1998. When UTV Life relaunched in 1999, Tina was, and remains, one of the presenters and reporters.  In early 2000, she took time off to have a baby daughter, Charlotte. The Record Of The Year 2000 finally saw Tina getting some network exposure reading the UTV results in a gold spangley top.  Tina was last seen hosting UTV Live in October 2002, and has appeared to gone AWOL...

 

GILLIAN IEVERS (1996-1997)

Gillian worked as a continuity announcer for a few months around 1996, after Tracey Anne Griffiths went off to Channel 4. After her duties, Gillian disappeared for a few years, but resurfaced recently as a reporter on UTV Family Life and The Family Show.

 

AUDRA CUNNINGHAM/THOMAS (1997-)

Audra replaced Gillian Ievers after her brief tenure. She normally covers weekday shifts, and frequently presented the weather on UTV Live between 1998 and 2001. A programme on Audra's work with local charities was broadcast in April 2001, and in July of the same year she got married.

 

THANKS TO ROBERT BROWN, GRAHAM CRICHTON, DEREK FAULKNER, ALAN GOWDY, GAVIN HEALEY, MIKE McGONAGLE & GAVIN NIXON FOR PROVIDING INFORMATION FOR THIS PAGE, AND TO THE CONTINUITY BOOTH FOR PROVIDING PICTURES

 

Can you identify this announcer from November 1983?

 

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