Gerry Kelly (broadcaster)

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Gerry Kelly
Gerry Kelly.jpg
Born Gerald Kelly
(1948-09-20) 20 September 1948 (age 68)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residence Ardglass, Northern Ireland
Occupation Broadcaster and journalist
Known for Kelly
Spouse(s) Helena
Children 2 daughters

Gerald "Gerry" Kelly (born 20 September 1948) is a Northern Irish broadcaster and journalist, best known for his presenting career at UTV where he presented the Friday night talk and variety show Kelly. He is currently a presenter on BBC Radio Ulster.

Early life[edit]

Kelly was born in Belfast on the 20 September 1948. He is the brother of former Down GAA goalkeeper Danny Kelly.[1] He went on to work as a teacher and a lecturer at St. Mary's College in Belfast.[2] He also worked as a leisure development officer for Belfast City Council, before going into broadcasting and journalism.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Kelly's broadcasting career began at Ulster Television as a part-time GAA reporter, but left the station quickly after being blacklisted by the National Union of Journalists.[1] Following a year's work experience at the Down Recorder, he returned to UTV in 1979 as a reporter, and later presenter, of its evening magazine programme, Good Evening Ulster,.[2]

Kelly also presented the series Lifestyle, Kelly's People, Kelly on Tour, Kelly on the Road,[2] What Next?,[3] Get It Right Next Time[4] and Pick of the Six for Ulster Television.[5]

He also presented a radio show called Kelly on the Radio on Downtown Radio.

He later went on to host the popular talk and variety show, Kelly, which ran from 1989 until it ended in 2005.[6][7][8] After the cancellation of Kelly, a new series, Gerry Meets... was launched.[9] The series concentrated on one-to-one interviews with guests.[10] One 2006 episode, during which Kelly interviewed the DJ Jimmy Savile, received widespread coverage in the national press six years later after the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal first broke. Particular attention was paid to comments Savile made to Kelly that were interpreted as clues to Savile's history as a predatory sex offender.[11][12][13][14][15]

In January 2008, it was reported that Kelly had left UTV. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Kelly said, "I'm leaving UTV on amicable terms and I have nothing but the highest regard for them. As far as I'm concerned, they gave me one of the best jobs in the world and I'm grateful to them for that."[16]

In March 2009, it was announced that Kelly would be joining BBC Radio Ulster to present a Saturday afternoon programme, commencing in April.[17] Kelly replaced the Alan Simpson show on BBC Radio Ulster he is on air from 15:00 - 17:00 on Friday Afternoons.


In 1993 he received the Sony Gold Award for a special programme following the Shankill Road bombing. In 1998 Kelly was installed in the Royal Television Society Hall of Fame in recognition of his lifelong contribution to broadcasting. He also received two Entertainment and Media Awards and his show Kelly was twice been voted the most entertaining programme in Northern Ireland.

Personal life[edit]

He is married with two daughters and he lives in Ardglass.[18]


  1. ^ a b Sunday Life: "Oh brother! Big TV break was a complete fluke...": dated 8 October 2008; accessed 18 January 2008
  2. ^ a b c Belfast Telegraph: "Kelly: The man who talked the talk with celebrities": dated 9 January 2008; accessed 18 January 2009
  3. ^ BFI Film & TV Database: What Next?: accessed 19 January 2009
  4. ^ BFI Film & TV Database: Get It Right Next Time: accessed 19 January 2009
  5. ^ UK Game Shows: Pick of the Six: accessed 18 January 2009
  6. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "Curtain falls on the Kelly Show"; dated 1 September 2005, retrieved 11 January 2008
  7. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "Plea to save programmes from axe"; dated 22 October 2005, retrieved 11 January 2008
  8. ^ Sunday Life: "Corr! What a line-up as Kelly bows out": dated 11 December 2005, accessed 18 January 2009
  9. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "Friday night comeback for TV host Gerry": dated 1 March 2006; accessed 18 January 2009
  10. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "Let's talk": dated 25 February 2006; accessed 18 January 2009
  11. ^ Jimmy Savile told interviewer, 'I don't do underage sex'
  12. ^ "All children should be eaten at birth": Jimmy Savile denied sex abuse in 2006 interview
  13. ^ I don't do under-age sex: Savile
  14. ^ Freddie Starr claims police don't want to talk him about abuse accusations in wake of Savile sex scandal
  15. ^ Unearthed: Jimmy Savile tells journalist 'children should be eaten at birth'
  16. ^ Belfast Telegraph: "It's time to move on, says UTV's Kelly: dated 8 January 2008
  17. ^ BBC Press Officer: "Radio Ulster welcomes Gerry Kelly to its Saturday schedule": dated 5 March 2009; accessed 6 March 2009
  18. ^ Gerry Kelly profile (archived version)

External links[edit]