From politics to country music, a former assistant to TUV leader Jim Allister in the European Parliament has just been hired as a new face of Europe’s only country music channel, Keep It Country TV.
Ahoghill native Lynne McDowell will now sit alongside co-presenter and owner of the channel, Phil Mack, who is well-known amongst Ireland’s country music fans for hosting his self-titled country music TV show.
The recently launched channel is now live on Sky 389 and Freesat 516 and is expected to air shortly on Freeview due to overwhelming interest in the range of programmes it offers.
“I’m very excited to be part of Keep It Country TV, especially at a time when country music is becoming ever more popular across the UK, Ireland and Europe,” said Ms McDowell.
“I feel privileged to be able to shine a light on a whole host of artists that deserve greater publicity and need a dedicated platform that is genuinely rooting for their success.
“The response has been incredible so far – especially from Ireland and the US – and Phil and the team have been overwhelmed by the channel’s popularity.
“I’m a big fan of country music and can’t wait to bring it to more people across Europe.”
Ms McDowell, a former deputy head girl at Ballymena Academy (2000-2001), started her career in the European Parliament working for former MEP Mr Allister.
But following her stint in politics she moved to London to fulfil her dream of working in the music industry.
Whilst in London, she landed a job at the BPI – the trade body for major and independent record labels and the people behind the world-famous Brit Awards – where she climbed the ladder to become their head of public relations.
Last March she set up her own PR venture, Well Red, consulting for a host of global companies in music and TV, including the Country Music Association based in Nashville.
Media trained by TV personality Nicki Chapman, Lynne has been an active spokeswoman for the music industry in recent years and is a vocal ambassador for music in Northern Ireland, where she is a board member of the Oh Yeah Music Centre established by Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and others.
The Phil Mack Country Music show airs every Monday on the channel at 9pm.