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5 live Homecoming: Stephen Nolan on his love for Belfast

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All this week 5 live presenters have returned to their roots to explore the big issues facing the towns and cities where they were raised.

5 live Breakfast’s Nicky Campbell returned to Edinburgh, Drive’s Peter Allen to Basildon, Richard Bacon to Mansfield and Up All Night’s Dotun Adebayo to Tottenham.

On Saturday 1 December from 10pm Stephen Nolan will be with an audience in Belfast. Here, in his own words, he describes the capital of Northern Ireland as he remembers it as a child:

Stephen Nolan as a child

“I use planes like buses these days, travelling back and forward from Belfast every week to Salford for 5Live. There is nothing that is more comforting than coming home to Northern Ireland every Monday and landing in Belfast City Airport. It makes me feel whole again.

I'm so proud of NI - and we have changed big time. I remember very well as a child a ring of steel around our city centre - if you needed to go shopping in Royal Avenue, you were searched for bombs before going through the metal barriers.

I wanted to be a policeman when I was a child, and I had a toy gun and holster which I would proudly wear, concealed under my armpit, like the cops did on TV. It always made the security guards who were searching for the real thing in our city centre laugh.

Of course, NI has changed now. The abnormal security has gone and Belfast as our capital city has developed beyond recognition. But it isn't the bricks and mortar which makes NI so special - it's the people.

If you visit, you will find a sense of openness and banter among the locals. Our biggest asset in NI is our collective personality, it is an extraordinarily friendly place and all I would say is visit us once to find out just how special our wee country is."

Click here to find out more about Stephen’s Homecoming programme on Saturday 1 December.

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by carrie

    on 3 Dec 2012 10:10

    Speaking of not being able to understand what has been said, could I also add that having spent quite a bit on digital radios, and with excellent audio quality which is fantastic, I still cannot hear a word Rachel Burden says - everyone else is as clear as a bell.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by mistered5

    on 3 Dec 2012 08:08

    Unfortunately the mawkish theme of Nolan's programme isn't just limited to a homecoming. Some of the topics discussed every Saturday night are unlistenable and completely unsuitable for weekend radio. The low point was a discussion with Denise Welch about her and her much younger partner. It was like a late night episode of Jeremy Kyle!

    However, the people who always complain about Five Live being to Salford-centric can't complain when they go to other locations around the UK.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by carrie

    on 2 Dec 2012 11:48

    I tried to listen to this but a morbid piece on young male suicides was not suitable for a focus on Belfast - it was a truly shocking but local subject. Apart from this, I could hardly understand any of the speakers as their accents were so strong. I did think that this reconnecting to your home area was a good idea but the only one who pulled it off was Richard. The mate fest of Nicky was too awful, and last night I really could not bear the tone of the programme. Mind you, it was Belfast, and I agree with maxmerit@6.

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by maxmerit

    on 2 Dec 2012 05:53

    Belfast is an absolute dump where racism and sectarianism is rife. Many people would not go over their door at night, avoid like the plague

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by Pahnda

    on 1 Dec 2012 22:57

    Great entertainment for a Saturday night NOT

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Andrew

    on 1 Dec 2012 20:46

    Nolan is living the jet set lifestyle at taxpayers expense.

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by what

    on 1 Dec 2012 14:39

    Whilst van Klaveren is "Stepped aside" and Tim Davie seconded to "Get a grip" there is an increasing number of presenters who prefer the plush environs of New Broadcasting house in London. Watch (or try) the webcam on an average day and you'll see barely anyone in Salford. So much for homecoming - they never left!

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by Jackstumps

    on 30 Nov 2012 14:26

    Suppose there's no point in asking why VD not featured in this series. Being from Bolton she might have to make a lengthy trip from Larndon to not far away from the broadcast centre ... then she might have to present a show. Glory be!

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by carrie

    on 30 Nov 2012 12:57

    I still don't get why licence payers should shell out for his weekly flights and hotel expenses. If he can do the show from Belfast on Saturday why can't he do it from there every week, just like people do other shows STILL from London when the production team is in Salford.

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