Jones hangs up his headphones with last (daily) broadcast

George Jones back at Downtown after 35 years of broadcasting
George Jones back at Downtown after 35 years of broadcasting

Popular radio broadcaster George Jones got his first break on Downtown Radio.

Now he’ll be presenting his last daily show at the Co Down station this afternoon.

He’s even been given an extra hour, to fit in all his farewells, so will be on-air from 1pm-4pm.

Jones rejoined Downtown, based in Newtownards, in 2012 to present the Drivetime show, after hosting a daily programme for U105 radio at UTV.

The east Belfast musician previously presented the afternoon programme on BBC.

In 2006, his Just Jones show was dropped from the Radio Ulster schedules, after he’d worked there for 21 years.

He presented his last programme in June 2006, having done radio outside broadcasts from across the world, most notably New York and Sydney, Australia.

Jones said he was buoyant about whatever his new direction will be: “I’ve made a decision to leave the afternoons and move on, so that some aspiring young DJ can take over my slot.

“I don’t have anything to prove anymore, with my 30 years’ track record and a Sony Award for best local radio presenter to back that up.

“Daytime radio is more about being a DJ than a presenter these days, with the commercial demands on slots.

“I won‘t rule out doing something else at the station, but, for the moment, I’m just back from my favourite holiday – skiing and playing with my band in Austria – so I’ll take a bit of time off to have a think about what I actually have time to do.”

A spokesman for Downtown said that Mr Jones was a true professional.

“We respect George’s decision to hang up his headphones. There’s no doubting his popularity and the fondness he’s held in by listeners.

“We’re very pleased with the job he’s done for us and will be happy to have a chat with him about a new format once he’s had a bit of time off.”