One of Ulster’s most recognisable faces turns 40 today – but there seems little point in wishing him “happy birthday”.
Stephen Nolan said yesterday that he had already received a gift from one listener – a bag of white chocolate buttons.
But he insists that he will boycott any parties that are thrown to mark the occasion.
“I don’t actually see it as a time to celebrate,” he said.
“I completely reject this notion that to be 40, the best years are ahead of you.
“Actually, I genuinely do think it’s downhill from here. And I don’t share the optimism others do that life starts at 40.
“I loved my teenage years, I loved my 20s, I enjoyed my 30s.
“But I don’t want to kind of start to slow down, and I don’t want to start to get sick and I don’t want to start to think of pensions, and I certainly don’t think of retirement and all this kind of stuff.
“All of a sudden being 40-something, rather than 30-something makes me feel very, very...”
He paused to think, then added: “Past it.”
Up until that age, he said it was possible to maintain a state of denial about his age, but not any more.
As for doing anything to ring in his birthday, he said: “I don’t really like parties. My friends have been threatening all sorts of surprise parties, and I’ve been threatening them back that I would walk out if it happened. It’s not a double-bluff.”
The radio and TV broadcaster insisted that early retirement was off the menu completely.
“No!” he said. “I can’t stand the thought of working any less. In fact, I’d like to work more.
“I don’t like retirement, I don’t want to retire.”
Mr Nolan began his career at CityBeat, before moving to Radio Ulster in 2003.
The north Belfast-born broadcaster said he loves taking holidays in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and dreams of being able to go there a few months each year.
But he was clear where his future lies, adding: “I want to live in Northern Ireland, and work until the day I die”.
He made it clear at the outset he is not one for birthday parties.
But asked if there were any presents he was hoping for, he said: “That’s the other thing about turning 40. I’m not too sure there’s stuff that I really want anymore.”
A day earlier Mr Nolan had used the website Twitter to announce that he was going for a five-mile walk after work, and was planning to diet as of midnight last night.
However, he was not optimistic it was going to work out, and said it was being suspended for this occasion.
“My ideal day would be chicken and broccoli bake followed by ice cream with Flake all crunched up in the middle of it,” he said.
“That’s all I really want.”