Stephen Nolan

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For the Irish hurler, see Stephen Nolan (hurler). For the rugby league footballer for Ireland, see Steve Nolan.
Stephen Nolan
Stephen nolan.jpg
Born (1973-08-20) August 20, 1973 (age 41)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Occupation Radio and television presenter

Stephen Nolan (born 20 August 1973) is a Northern Irish radio and television presenter for BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Radio Five Live.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Belfast, Nolan was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and Queen's University Belfast where he studied French and Business Studies.



Nolan always wanted to work on radio for the BBC, but was told by a senior manager that he would never be good enough to work for the Corporation. Resultantly he joined Belfast CityBeat, for which he won a Sony Radio Academy Award.

The following year he was poached to work for BBC NI, for whom since 2003 he has presented The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster. In the handover from the Gerry Anderson show at half past ten each morning Nolan is usually on the end of a putdown or witticism from Mr Anderson.

Since 16 July 2005, he has presented his own weekend phone-in show for BBC Radio Five Live, airing from 10pm to 1am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as one of the few Northern Irish presenters on mainstream UK radio. In doing so he spends his weekends in Manchester, from where the programmes are broadcast.

In 2006 he was involved in a charity "boxing" match with Gerry Anderson in aid of Children in Need. Stephen Nolan was knocked down from a stray uppercut from Gerry Anderson.[citation needed]

In May 2008 Stephen featured heavily on Chris Moyles' Radio 1 Breakfast Show for the line "That is not my name" in his heavy Northern Irish accent, a mis-quote of the Sue Tilley interview with ITV News. Moyles has also edited a clip of Stephen to make it sound like he is telling his listeners to "buy good crack!" The origin of this is Nolan's method of ending some calls, saying "Bye, cheers; bye, good craic."


Nolan has presented several television programmes. Nolan Live on BBC Northern Ireland, is a weekly television debate and phone-in show. Fair Play, also on BBC Northern Ireland, was a weekly consumer watchdog programme. Mission Employable was a series focusing on helping a group of unemployed people to find their dream career. He has also presented the BBC's Children in Need Northern Ireland broadcast, with Christine Bleakley and John Daly. Since 2008 he has presented Panic Attack, a new game airing on Friday nights in Northern Ireland. The show was repeated nationwide in a daytime slot starting in February 2010. In 2008 he stood in for Matthew Wright on Five's The Wright Stuff.

In 2011, Nolan presented a documentary focusing on the infamous story of the Northern Irish serial killers, the Shankill Butchers.

Since 2012, Nolan has hosted a weekly TV version of The Nolan Show on BBC Northern Ireland every Wednesday.

In 2013, a new series 'Story Of A Lifetime', hosted by Nolan began with episode one focusing on the life of Stephen's Radio Ulster colleague Hugo Duncan.


Stephen Nolan (left) posing with Paul Martin.

In total, Nolan has won twelve Sony Radio Academy Awards. Of these, seven are Gold, giving him the record for the most Golds in the history of the awards. Five of these were awarded during his time with Belfast CityBeat radio, including: UK Speech Broadcaster of the Year 2003 and for his show, The Stephen Nolan Show, The Speech Programme Award of the Year 2006. Nolan holds the record for most Sony Gold awards ever presented to one person. He has also won the Royal Television Society's Regional Presenter of the Year Award in 2005 and 2006, as well as being nominated for the National Presenter Award in 2008.


  1. ^ Shillam, Tania (2003-11-01). Radio. Crimson Publishing. pp. 61–. ISBN 978-0-85660-902-2. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 

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