IN SEPTEMBER 1991, Portstewart woman Anne Marie McAleese sat down in a BBC Radio Ulster studio to present her first live radio programme – the first ever edition of Your Place And Mine.
Fast forward 20 years to September 2011 and Anne Marie (pictured) is still getting up early on Saturday mornings to present the programme she has come to consider her home from home.
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Your Place And Mine was originally commissioned to bring something different to Saturday mornings on BBC Radio Ulster, which was originally music focused. This new programme would be live and would travel across Northern Ireland bringing voices and stories from communities and places not usually featured on air.
With Anne Marie at the helm, the programme also had four reporters from locations around Northern Ireland who were passionate about their home towns and who brought us stories that were heart-warming and quirky and had a real sense of place.
It’s a formula that seems to have worked as, while there have been a few little changes of presenters and reporters over the years, the premise of the programme has remained the same as has its popularity with listeners.
Another local voice who has been with the programme since its inception is Coleraine’s Ronan Lundy.
But for Anne Marie and the reporters it’s the people they meet and the stories they hear that make the programme what it is and over the years the countless stories have ranged from the hilarious to the heart-warming to the hair-raising.
Anne Marie said: “Your Place And Mine is very close to my heart and I’m very proud to have been involved since the beginning. No two weeks are ever the same. I’d really like to thank all our
listeners who keep tuning in and all the hundreds of people who have taken time to talk to us over the past 20 years - they make the programme what it is.”
Your Place And Mine, BBC Radio Ulster, Saturdays, 8am-9am. 92–95FM