Presenter Gerry Anderson dies

Published Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Tributes have been paid to Northern Ireland broadcaster and radio personality Gerry Anderson, who has died aged 69.

The award-winning presenter was born in 1944 in Derry~Londonderry - or 'Stroke City' as he renamed it - and was best known for his daily show on BBC Radio Ulster.

Mr Anderson's death was announced on Thursday morning, following a long illness.

Paying tribute, director of BBC NI Peter Johnston said: "Gerry was a man of great wit and mischief but also he brought real wisdom and insight. We will all miss that, not least his loyal listeners for whom Gerry created light in often darker days over the decades."

Gerry Anderson presented his first programme on BBC Radio Foyle in 1985.

The show proved a hit and soon became a mid-morning mainstay, with listeners tuning in from across the country to hear the weird and wonderful musings of Gerry and his 'side-kick' Sean Coyle.

While best known for his radio work, Gerry Anderson also enjoyed a successful television career including a chat show in the early 1990s and, more recently, the clay animated series On The Air.

He has won Radio Academy Awards and Royal Television Society Awards and, in 2005, became the first NI broadcaster to be inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

BBC Director General Tony Hall said: "That he was inducted into the UK Radio Academy Hall of Fame speaks volumes of how special and unique a broadcaster and personality he was.

"Gerry Anderson was a distinctive and iconic voice in radio in Northern Ireland and beyond."

In a joint statement, the First and deputy First Minister paid tribute to Gerry Anderson, saying the world of broadcasting will be a quieter place without him.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said: "Gerry was a hugely talented broadcaster with an irrepressible personality who will be greatly missed.

"In many ways his unpredictable style and wit on TV and radio was ahead of its time and he undoubtedly had an influence on the younger generation of broadcasters.

The world of broadcasting will be all the quieter without Gerry in it.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

"Gerry's long and varied career is a tribute to the loyalty he inspired. Throughout his broadcasting career his warmth, energy and sheer enthusiasm attracted legions of devoted fans.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Christine and family at this difficult time."

Foyle MP Mark Durkan said Derry has "lost a very special son".

"Gerry Anderson earned a special standing with his wit, warmth, his way with words and his off-the-cuff, on-the-button observations," the SDLP politician added.

"He was appreciated and respected in a way he never cultivated.

"He had a natural style but never styled himself for the status or the eminence he achieved, or the special connection that everyone felt with him. Derry has lost a very special son, an unceremonious ambassador, and broadcasting has lost a limited edition of one."

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "Gerry Anderson was a broadcasting pioneer who enriched our cultural landscape.

"He had an inordinate wit which brought joy to so many.

"He could be scathing and endearing, and was often both at the same time. But his humour was based in a real affection for his home town of Derry and the north, and listeners loved him for it."

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Bigmac in belfast wrote (61 days ago):
Can I say that Gerry was a one off, he took the proverbial p*** off the utter lunitics and politics of NI and the double standards of all its most celebrated citizens, and he had the backing of all his faithful listeners to do this, I myself consider my own life expierence and final demise in this little backwater of the universe, as Gerry iam sure did as a ride on the Waltzer of life with all its ups and down, smiles and frowns and so come what may, let us live for the day. R.i.P. Mr Anderson
Arbrothess in anyville wrote (62 days ago):
Gerry Anderson had real presence and appealed to his audience.There was never once when i ever didn't enjoy listening to him... always truely witful, entertaining and a breath of fresh air to the airwaves!RIP x Alyson, Co Down
Pat in Fermanagh wrote (62 days ago):
Rest in Peace, Gerry.
Leon Mc Crum in Newry CoDown wrote (62 days ago):
I met Gerry through my job as one of Daniel O' Donnell,s back up singers. He was a guest on Daniels TV show a good few yrs back. I remember meeting him in the bar of the Europa Hotel after the show talking to Paci Bonner at the bar, when in comes Gerry. My colleague was talking to him and they were hugging and having a laugh, I said," Lord, I hate Groupies, He said, "I beg your pardon, this woman is no groupie, I said, I know, I wasn't talking about her! He threw his head back and laughed! Cairan Mc Menemin was with him that night too. Nice fella, great actor. Gerry was a special man, he. Ade us all laugh in the morning, even when you didn't want to. God rest his soul, and God be with his wife and family. Rest in peace. LeonX
Lesley McKergan in Coleraine wrote (63 days ago):
Gerry will be sorely missed. A genius broadcaster and the amazing thing was it came to him naturally. RIP legend. You made me laugh out loud endless times.
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