Frank Mitchell, Ken Reid and Jane Loughrey to leave UTV

Three of the best know faces in local broadcasting have announced they are to leave UTV.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 4:04 pm
Frank Mitchell

UTV’s political editor Ken Reid, correspondent Jane Loughrey, and weather presenter Frank Mitchell are leaving UTV in the spring, having decided to take up a recent ITV offer of voluntary redundancy.

UTV’s Head of News and Programmes, Simon Clemison has paid tribute to their ‘huge contributions down the decades’ to news and programmes at the broadcaster.

Ken Reid joined UTV in 1994 and with politics forming such a large part of the news agenda in Northern Ireland, Ken has been an almost nightly figure on UTV Live at 6. He has also been a key contributor to View from Stormont, UTV’s one-hour weekly political show.

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Ken Reid

He has reported extensively from Belfast, Dublin, Westminster, Brussels and Washington, covering practically all the key political events that have happened in Northern Ireland in his time.

Ken says, “I’ve loved every minute of working at UTV, and I’m very proud to have brought some of the most important news stories of the day into people’s homes over the years. I’m looking forward to spending time with family in the coming months, and then who knows where I’ll turn up after that!”

Jane Loughrey started at UTV in 1992, working as a journalist on the early morning bulletins. She soon found herself in front of the camera, being sent out to report on the Shankill Bomb, Loughinisland, the IRA ceasefire, and in later years, the murders of Stephen Carroll and David Black.

As well as being a trusted and familiar face on UTV Live at 6, reporting on countless historical events over the past three decades, Jane has also made a number of award-winning programmes with UTV.

Jane Loughrey

Jane commented, “Having worked through the Troubles, I feel very privileged and honoured that so many bereaved families trusted me to tell their stories of heartache and loss. Each and every interview has left its mark on me. I will never forget their kindness and very often, forgiveness.”

“UTV really is a big family and I’ve been part of that for almost 30 years. It is a time of mixed emotions. I am sad to leave the job I love but I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my career holds.”

Although Frank Mitchell is probably now best known for the weather forecast, he began at UTV in 1987 as a continuity announcer and news presenter. He has fronted several UTV programmes including School Around the Corner, End to End and Ultimate Ulster.

He also presented UTV Life for ten years with Pamela Ballantine. He has been presenting the weather since 1994, totting up more than 22,000 forecasts in that time! Frank will continue with his radio presenting career, hosting his daily morning phone in show.

Frank said, “When I leave at the end of March, it will be exactly 34 years to the day that I started in UTV, and I can honestly say that it has been the most enjoyable experience. I am so lucky to say that every morning I get up, it has never felt like work! It is my absolute honour to have been invited into people’s living rooms for all these years. I look forward to easing up a bit but I’ll still be kept more than busy with the daily radio show.”

Head of News and Programmes Simon Clemison said: “Through their long associations with UTV, Ken, Jane and Frank have become figures many people in Northern Ireland will know extremely well. They have shown huge dedication and we’ll be reflecting on their time with us, over the next few months before they leave. They go with all our very best wishes.

“I’m also looking forward to developing the next generation of broadcasters who’ll be on the television in people’s homes every night, as we continue to bring high quality news and programmes to Northern Ireland.”