BBC Northern Ireland

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BBC Northern Ireland
TV stations BBC One Northern Ireland
BBC Two Northern Ireland
Radio stations BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Foyle
HeadquartersBroadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Area Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
Official website

BBC Northern Ireland (Irish : BBC Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster-Scots: BBC Norlin Airlan) is a division of the BBC and the main public broadcaster in Northern Ireland.


It is one of the four BBC national regions, together with the BBC English Regions, BBC Scotland and BBC Cymru Wales. Based at Broadcasting House, Belfast, it provides television, radio, online and interactive television content. BBC Northern Ireland currently employs 700 people, largely in Belfast.

BBC Northern Ireland has two TV channels - BBC One Northern Ireland, BBC Two Northern Ireland; and two radio stations - BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle.


Broadcasting House, Belfast, Headquarters of the BBC in Northern Ireland. BBC Northern Ireland Belfast.jpg
Broadcasting House, Belfast, Headquarters of the BBC in Northern Ireland.

BBC Northern Ireland operates two television stations: BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC Two Northern Ireland. BBC Northern Ireland funds an opt-out service with the majority of this output made in the independent sector. Some output that originates in London (so-called 'network' programmes) are time-shifted to create appropriate slots for programming that is more appealing to the BBC audience in NI.

Prior to 27 October 2006, BBC Two NI was a digital only service while BBC Two Northern Ireland was available on analogue transmission. Since 28 October 2006, BBC Two Northern Ireland has been the on-air name for both services which have been merged.

BBC Northern Ireland has its own team of continuity announcers which introduce the vast majority of programmes on BBC One and BBC Two in Northern Ireland.

Regional television

Network Output

As well as programmes intended purely for an audience in NI, BBC Northern Ireland also funds or often co-funds output for pan-UK consumption on both the player and other BBC channels. in 2021 network output is principally in drama. [1]

It was announced in June 2019 that the BBC quiz show Mastermind would now be produced from BBC NI. [2]

BBC Northern Ireland is also involved more occasionally in co-productions with other broadcasting networks, most notably with the Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

Republic of Ireland


BBC Northern Ireland operates two radio stations:

BBC Northern Ireland takes part in the 'Regionalisation' of some of the BBC's national radio output. From the late 1990s until 2012, for example, Radio 1 split the home nations on Thursday morning from midnight to 2am, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland broadcasting their own shows to showcase regional talent. The Radio 1 session from Northern Ireland was last presented by Phil Taggart from Omagh.


BBC Northern Ireland's online service provides News, Sport, Schools, Learning and Programme information for television and radio programmes. It provides a streaming audio service for Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle as well as every programme on demand for up to a week after transmission. is part of BBC Online and operated from the Belfast base. It also provides multi platform interactivity for TV programmes including the annual Schools' Cup Rugby union and Gaelic Athletic Association finals.




Television news bulletins

Selection of network programmes


BBC NI has, at various times, over the last decades of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st, provided live and pre-recorded coverage of all three major male sports in NI - Irish League soccer, Ulster Rugby and GAA. In the increasingly expensive world of sports rights and contracts the regional output has never covered all three concurrently but covers the sports extensively in radio news bulletins.


BBC Northern Ireland broadcasts almost exclusively in English, but there is some output in Irish Gaelic and Ulster Scots. Radio Ulster carries a daily programme in Irish and there is an Irish language section on BBC Northern Ireland's website. Northern Ireland Screen helps co-fund television output in both Irish [6] and Ulster Scots. [7]


BBC Blackstaff House Blackstaff House, Belfast.jpg
BBC Blackstaff House

The BBC television and radio stations are broadcast primarily from the Divis (500 kW), Limavady and Brougher Mountain transmitters. Both transmitters receive the BBC stations via a satellite feeds and each transmitter has a wealth of relay transmitters to provide analogue service to areas not served by their respective main transmitter.

BBC Northern Ireland have a radio link from their studios in Belfast which allows mobile on-location news crews to hear the studio; the test tone is known as the "commbeep".

TV Studios

BBC Northern Ireland has three main television studios located in Belfast. There are two small studios located in the BBC Broadcasting House in Belfast. These are home to BBC Northern Ireland's regional news and current affairs programmes. They are around 2,000 sq ft (190 m2) each and are called Studio B and Studio 1.

The largest of the studios is called Studio A which is located in the BBC Blackstaff House on Great Victoria Street in Belfast. The studio measures 6,000 sq ft (560 m2). Studio A has been home to the award winning local sitcom Give My Head Peace . Nolan Live for BBC One NI airs live from Studio A.

BBC NI broadcasters

Former BBC NI broadcasters

Noel Thompson

Current BBC NI broadcasters

Related Research Articles

Television in the Republic of Ireland is available through a variety of platforms. The digital terrestrial television service is known as Saorview and is the primary source of broadcast television since analogue transmissions ended on 24 October 2012. Digital satellite and digital cable are also widely used.

UTV (TV channel) Television channel in Northern Ireland

UTV is the ITV region covering Northern Ireland and the former on-air name of the free-to-air television channel serving the area. It is run by ITV plc and is responsible for the regional news service and other programmes made principally for the area.

<i>BBC Newsline</i> Television series

BBC Newsline is the BBC's national television news programme for Northern Ireland, broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland from BBC Northern Ireland's headquarters in Broadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.

BBC Radio Ulster Radio station in Belfast, Northern Ireland

BBC Radio Ulster is a Northern Irish radio station owned and operated by BBC Northern Ireland, a division of the BBC. It was established on New Year's Day 1975, replacing what had been an opt-out of BBC Radio 4.

BBC Radio Foyle Radio station in Derry, Northern Ireland

BBC Radio Foyle is a BBC Northern Ireland local radio station, serving County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. It is named after the River Foyle which flows through Derry, the city where the station is based. The station broadcasts from BBC's Northland Road studios on 93.1 FM in Derry. It was available on 792 kHz MW until 6 May 2021. There is also a small television studio based there used for interviews with the interviewee sitting in front of a CSO screen which normally has a live view of Derry. Since it broadcasts from a point close to the border between County Londonderry and County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, it includes some coverage of the latter county.

Noel Thompson

Noel Thompson is a Northern Irish news journalist with BBC Northern Ireland. He was part of the presenting team for BBC Radio Ulster's flagship morning programme Good Morning Ulster.

Mark Carruthers OBE is a Northern Irish journalist. He currently presents a number of television and radio programmes for BBC Northern Ireland.

Stephen Nolan Northern Irish radio and television presenter

Stephen Raymond Nolan is a Northern Irish radio and television presenter for BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Radio 5 Live.

William Crawley is a Belfast-born BBC journalist and broadcaster. He is the presenter of Talkback, a daily radio phone-in show on BBC Radio Ulster, and he is a presenter of Sunday on BBC Radio 4. He has also made several television series for BBC Northern Ireland.

Q Radio Belfast Radio station in Northern Ireland

Q Radio is a Northern Irish radio station. It broadcasts to Greater Belfast on 96.7 MHz FM and on DAB Digital Radio across all of Northern Ireland. From 5 April 2007, Citybeat became available on 102.5FM for North Belfast, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus. On 2 November 2007, Citybeat launched a third FM transmitter also broadcasting on 102.5FM for Bangor. Citybeat reaches a weekly audience of 127,000 listeners in Belfast, around 22% of the adult population. It has won both Arqiva 'Station of the Year' and Sony Awards. The station was rebranded as Q Radio on-air at 6pm on Sunday 9 August 2015.

John Alexander Fullerton, MBE is a Northern Irish television presenter and journalist, who was a reporter and football commentator for BBC Northern Ireland until he retired in 2016. However, he made a return in 2020 to commentate on Ballymena United matches for their live streaming services while no fans were in attendance due to Covid-19.

Evening Extra is the BBC's drive time news and current affairs radio programme in Northern Ireland. It is broadcast live on BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Sounds on weekday evenings, from 4pm to 6pm. As of April 2020 the programme is presented by journalists Tara Mills and Declan Harvey.

Broadcasting House, Belfast

Broadcasting House, Belfast is the headquarters of BBC Northern Ireland and operates many of its broadcasting services. The building is located on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast city centre, at the junction with Bedford Street. Public tours of the building are available.

The media in Northern Ireland are closely linked to those in the rest of the United Kingdom, and also overlap with print, television, and radio in the Republic of Ireland.

Television in Northern Ireland is available using, digital terrestrial, digital satellite and cable.

The Crown dependency of the Isle of Man does not have any television channels of its own but receives United Kingdom television channels.

John "Sean" Coyle is a Northern Irish radio broadcaster from Derry, Northern Ireland who, until 2019, worked for BBC Northern Ireland on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle, hosting The Sean Coyle Show from 10:30am - Noon, Monday to Friday from the Foyle Studios on the Northland Road,

This is a timeline of the history of Ulster Television.

This is a timeline of television in Northern Ireland.


  1. "Bloodlands airs on BBC One from Sunday 21st February". Northern Ireland Screen. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. Carrigan, Christine (7 February 2019). "Quiz show Mastermind is relocating to Northern Ireland". BelfastLive. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  3. "Saorview Combi Channels". Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  4. "Saorview/ Freeview Overspill Advice". Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  5. BBC Northern Ireland Drama
  6. "Forléargas | Overview". Northern Ireland Screen. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  7. "Overview". Northern Ireland Screen. Retrieved 8 June 2021.