It’s the end of an era for political editor Ken Reid and weather presenter Frank Mitchell, having decied to take up a recent ITV offer of voluntary redundancy. They join journalist Jane Loughry, who left UTV at end of February.
Ken Reid joined UTV in 1994 and with politics forming such a large part of the news agenda in Northern Ireland, he 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. 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 said: “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!”
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 10 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.
He said that he leaves “exactly 34 years to the day” that he started in UTV.
“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.”
Twitter was flooded with warm wishes for the pair.
UTV colleague Chris Hagan wrote: “Today we bid a final farewell from UTV to these two legends. What fantastic careers they’ve had..... To both, as he always says: take care, be good, bye-bye.”
A viewer said: “Grew up getting news and weather from Ken & Frank ultimate professionals in some of the province’s greatest and indeed momentous monuments wish you both well in the next chapter #TopJournos.”
Another wrote: “Two absolute legends indeed! What amazing service they have provided.”