Father Brian D'Arcy to present Radio 2's Sunday Half Hour
Father Brian D'Arcy is to become the new presenter of Sunday Half Hour, BBC Radio 2's weekly programme of hymns and prayers.
Following the retirement of the Rev Canon Roger Royle, Father Brian's first Sunday Half Hour will be on 15 April at 8.30pm.
Father Brian is a Passionist priest based in Ireland and serves as Rector of St Gabriel's Retreat, The Graan, at Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. He is also an author, newspaper columnist, broadcaster, journalist and chaplain to the entertainment industry.
He is currently, and will continue to be, a contributor to Radio 2's Pause For Thought on Wake Up To Wogan.
Father Brian says: "I'm thrilled to be involved in Sunday Half Hour and I'm looking forward to presenting the programme very much indeed. It will be impossible to follow in Roger Royle's footsteps but I know that music is my passion and I believe hymns speak deeply about faith for people whether or not they call themselves religious.
"Sunday Half Hour is also a programme that connects families and friends with one another. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the programme's listeners and to having a lot of fun on the way."
Lesley Douglas, Controller, Radio 2 says: "Although I was obviously disappointed when Roger Royle told me of his decision to retire from Sunday Half Hour, I am delighted that Father Brian D'Arcy has agreed to take over the programme.
"Father D'Arcy is already well known to, and loved by, the Radio 2 audience through his regular appearances with Terry Wogan at breakfast. I am certain that Sunday Half Hour, and its listeners, will be in good hands."
Father Brian was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in June 1945. He entered the Passionist Religious Congregation in 1962 and was professed at The Graan, Enniskillen in 1963.
He began his university education at UCD in 1963 and pursued his studies for the priesthood in Mount Argus Monastery, Dublin and in Cloonamahon, County Sligo. He was ordained a Passionist priest in 1969 in St Michael's College, Enniskillen.
In August 1970 he was appointed editor of The Cross magazine and resided in Mount Argus until 1975, when he was appointed production editor of the Catholic Communications Centre in Dublin.
He served as parish priest at Mount Argus in Dublin, before returning to Enniskillen as superior at St Gabriel's Retreat, The Graan. He left to become Superior in Crossgar and returned to Superior of The Graan in January 2001.
In 1967 he began a career in journalism when he wrote for various pop magazines at home and abroad and was the first priest in Ireland to be admitted to the National Union of Journalists.
His weekly column in the Sunday World has been running for over 30 years.
He has his own music programme, Sunday With Brian D'Arcy, on BBC Radio Ulster.
Father Brian has broadcast for Ireland's RTE Radio for the past 35 years. His recently published memoirs, A Different Journey, were a number one best-seller in Ireland over Christmas.
Radio 2 Publicity