Gerry Anderson (broadcaster)

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Gerald Michael Anderson, known professionally as Gerry Anderson (born 1944) is a Northern Irish Sony Award-winning radio and television broadcaster from Derry, who works for BBC Northern Ireland, and a member of the Radio Academy Hall of fame.

Broadcasting in Northern Ireland

Originally a touring rock musician in Ireland, he started in radio at BBC Radio Foyle in 1985, the local station in his home city which he sometimes calls ‘Stroke City’ to reflect the difficulty regarding broadcasting the name of Derry/Londonderry (each name is preferred by a different part of the local community). Starting with Making the Tea, on with music but then also moving on to talk shows. His programme was picked up by BBC Radio Ulster and given a wider audience. The Gerry Anderson Show is currently broadcast daily on BBC Radio Ulster from 10.30 am to 11.55am, and calls made to the show form the basis of BBC NI's animated TV comedy series "On The Air". In addition, he presents various television series for BBC Northern Ireland.

Radio 4

In 1995 BBC Radio 4 came calling, and he was contracted to present an afternoon show on the UK's most respected speech radio station. "Anderson Country" used phone-ins and broadened the range of accents heard on the station. The audience reaction was polarised - with regular listeners either loving or hating it for its dramatic shift in tone and subject from normal Radio 4 fare. It became the subject of a sustained and surprisingly vitriolic campaign against it. Eventually "Anderson Country" was taken off the air. However BBC Radio 4 essentially continued the programme under the name "The Afternoon Shift", with two alternating presenters, the Irish broadcaster Daire Brehan and the sociologist Professor Laurie Taylor. Gerry returned to Northern Ireland where he remained popular, sometimes presenting television as well as radio, and even made new programmes for Radio 4 such as "Gerry's Bar".

Stroke City

His contribution to solving the Derry/Londonderry name dispute was to popularise the jocular name "Stroke City" (from the "/" in the city's neutral designation), which became the title of one of his radio programmes from 1992. It led some of his friends to rename him "Gerry/Londongerry".

Career in Music

* Anderson taught himself guitar and in 1963 relocated to Manchester where he worked in clubs, and eventually toured in Scotland, England and Canada with a showband called The Chessmen, and, from 1972, with a band called Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks.

Trivia

* He is often confused with the other Gerry Anderson (of Thunderbirds fame), so much so that when he was called to be told that he had been inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame, he immediately asked the voice on the phone if they had contacted the wrong person.
* He graduated from the University of Ulster as a mature student, with a degree in Sociology and Social Anthropology and a postgraduate Diploma in Continuing Education.
* His previous jobs include: an apprentice tool-maker, a clerk in a shipping firm, a musician, a teacher, a social worker and editor of a community magazine.Gerry was a 'social work assistant', not a qualified social worker. His job was to assess the needs of elderly clients regarding home help services and then to arrange said service.

Awards

* Gold Sony Award 1990 for Best Regional Broadcaster
* Broadcaster of the Year at the Entertainment and Media Awards, 1991, 1992 and 1993
* [http://www.radioacademy.org/halloffame/anderson_g/index.shtml Radio Academy Hall of Fame]
* Royal Television Society Regional Presenter of the Year 2004

Publications

* Autobiography: "Surviving Stroke City" (Hutchinson, 1989).

Working Life in Brief

*1963-1963: Guitarist in various clubs, Manchester, and with The Chessmen
*1972-1972: Guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks
*1974-1978: Student, University of Ulster
*1978-1984: Teacher, social worker, community magazine writer and editor, occasional broadcasting.
*1985-present: Daily radio show presenter, BBC Radio Foyle / BBC Radio Ulster.

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radiofoyle/programmes/gerryanderson/biog.shtml Radio Foyle biography]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radiofoyle/programmes/gerryanderson/index.shtml The Gerry Anderson Show webpage]


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