BBC Radio Foyle’s two-hour breakfast show broadcast for final time

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The presenters of BBC Radio Foyle’s breakfast show thanked listeners and hailed the “magic and connection” of local radio as the programme was broadcast for the final time.

The show which ran from 7am to 9am for the last 13 years will be replaced with a 30-minute news programme called The North West Today at 8.30am from Monday as part of cost-saving measures.

The show’s demise was reported on as part of the programme’s news bulletins on Friday morning, where it was referred to as “multi-award winning”.

The presenters, Elaine McGee and David Hunter, spoke about the show’s connection with listeners as they signed off.

“It’s hard to let go. But we are so proud of the show. We are so grateful to you and we feel really privileged that we as a team have been lucky enough to tell your stories and cover the issues that are important to your life, because they’re important to our lives as well.

“The biggest thing we want to say this morning is thank you. Thank you for all your support, especially since November it has just meant the world and got us through some really tough times.

“Thank you for always being there and enabling us to have the best job in the world because it is the best, but above all, thank you for listening to us, for trusting us, for choosing us and letting us into your life.

“I hope we have been a friend for you like you have been to us. You are all the best, the best as is this city and this region.”

She said she believes the connection local radio creates with its listeners is “magic”, adding: “It is magic and we may be meeting in a different way from here on in, but magic and connection like ours can’t be cut.

“Nobody can take that away. And I promise you, your voice will always matter here on Radio Foyle.

“Now, there’s only one song we could leave you with today, so we will say goodbye for now.

“And for the last time from the BBC Radio Foyle Breakfast Show team, good morning.”

The song chosen to end the programme was Teenage Kicks by The Undertones.

Mr Hunter thanked listeners, adding: “From Monday things are going to look and sound a little bit different.

“There’s some finer details to be worked out on that, but what won’t change is our gratitude to you, particularly over the past few months.

“And we want you to join us again then, we want you to keep telling us all the thousands and many, many untold stories that are still there to be told.

“For me personally, it’s been a privilege. It’s just been living out a dream to sit here and present a programme that’s a little window out into the world.”

Last November, BBC Northern Ireland announced plans to cut up to 40 jobs as part of a drive to save money and invest in online services.

It said that local investment in BBC iPlayer would be increased, but there would also be output and staffing reductions in news, audio and related areas.

The plans were criticised by the NUJ and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood, who said it was an attempt to close Radio Foyle “by stealth”.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We will be enhancing the BBC’s digital news coverage from and about the North West.

“Its newsroom will become a fully integrated part of BBC News NI and our new breakfast-time news programme, North West Today, will have an exclusive focus on local stories, issues and events.

“All of this will be in addition to hourly news bulletins from Foyle and its developing role as a production centre for local and region-wide output.”

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