Ashley Byrne

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Ashley A Byrne is a radio and television presenter, newsreader and producer. He was born on 13 November 1972 in Doncaster, England. His father is the British artist, Tony Byrne.

Currently the presenter of the BBC's only regular gay current affairs programme 'Citizen Manchester LGBT' on BBC Radio Manchester Byrne has also presented the news on BBC and commercial radio stations across the North of England including Smooth Radio, Century, Lincs FM, TFM, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West (radio), Imagine FM, Signal Cheshire and The Pulse of West Yorkshire. He has also presented on BBC Radio 3 and narrated his company's documentary 'From Bomb to Boom' for ITV1.

Byrne is Creative Director of the successful radio production company, Made in Manchester which he set up with business partner James Hickman, the five-times World Butterfly Swimming Champion in May 2005.

Programmes either produced or executive produced by Byrne for Made in Manchester include:

Year Title Presenter Stations
2006 Another Fine Mess: 80 Years of Laurel and Hardy Norman Wisdom BBC Radio 2
2006 Cartoon Kings David Jason ITV1
2006 From Bomb to Boo Ashley Byrne ITV1
2006 Citizen Manchester Strand Various BBC Radio Manchester
2007 Jah Wobble's Mystical Musical Tour Jah Wobble BBC World Service
2007 Laughter and Tears: The Les Dawson Story Jo Brand BBC Radio 2
2007 I Got Up Out of My Seat David Frost BBC Radio 4
2008 Salt N Pepa: Push It Mista Jam BBC 1Xtra
2008 Brass Britain Stephen Tompkinson BBC Radio 2
2008 Giving Way to a New Era John Sergeant BBC Radio 4
2008 In Search of Forgiveness Julie Nicholson BBC Radio 4
2008 How AIDS Changed America Paul Michael Glaser BBC Radio 2
2008 Pacific Ocean Blues: The Life and Death of Dennis Wilson Roger Daltrey BBC Radio 2
2008 Ali Abbas: In His Own Words Hugh Sykes BBC Radio 4
2009 Gay Life After Saddam Aasmah Mir BBC Radio 5Live
2009 In Search of Sid Jah Wobble BBC Radio 4
2009 Walking with Whitman Stuart Maconie BBC Radio 4
2009 In Search of the Wantley Dragon Ian McMillan BBC Radio 4
2009 Dick Emery: The Comedy of Errors? David Walliams BBC Radio 2
2009 Benny Hill: The Untold Story Ben Miller BBC Radio 2
2009 Lead Belly: A Secret History of Rock and Roll Eric Burdon BBC Radio 2

In December 2007, Byrne managed to get Archbishop Desmond Tutu to apologise on behalf of the Anglican Church for the way in which some clergy had treated the world's LGBT community.

In April 2009, Made in Manchester came runner up in the Best Production Company in the North 'How Do' Awards

In May 2009, Byrne's 'Giving Way to a New Era' was nominated for a prestigious Sony Award.

In July 2009, Byrne's 'Gay Life After Saddam' for 5Live (which also featured actors Samuel Barnett and Paul Kendrick) was described by the press as 'The BBC at its Best' after it uncovered a catalogue of murder and torture being carried out against gay and trans Iraqis since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

In October 2009, Byrne's company Made in Manchester embarked on a pioneering experiment to promote and premiere new audio drama via The UK's Independent newspaper. Turing's Test (starring History Boys' actor Sam Barnett) rose as high as number 7 in its category on the iTunes downloads chart. Subsequent dramas have included Death in Genoa starring Simon Callow as Oscar Wilde and Suzie Pugh and a Monster Too (a children's drama starring Coronation Street actress Vicky Binns). It's thought more dramas may be on the cards and Byrne has expressed his ambition to create 'a new high profile platform' for drama and comedy on the web.

Byrne is also a Director of RIG, the Radio Independents Trade Body and has been leading a campaign to persuade the BBC to commission more radio programming from outside London.

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