Radio Ulster’s Walter Love inducted into PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame

Walter is one of BBC Northern Ireland's longest serving and best loved presenters. His dulcet tones have entertained and informed our listeners on BBC Radio Ulster for decades. This award is a fitting recognition of the esteem in which he is held by all of us.Peter Johnston, Director, BBC Northern Ireland
Date: 09.09.2014     Last updated: 09.09.2014 at 16.52
BBC Radio Ulster presenter Walter Love has been inducted into the PPI (Phonographic Perfomance Ireland) Radio Awards Hall of Fame.

The PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame ceremony took place earlier today at the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland offices in Dublin and recipients were chosen by a group of their peers in the Irish radio industry. The inductees range from national to local radio broadcasters, all of whom are highly respected for their skill, passion for their jobs and their love for radio.

Walter Love MBE, who began his broadcasting career aged 11 in 1946, said of his induction: “The letter informing me that I was to be inducted into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame came out of the blue. I had to read it twice and check the envelope twice just to ensure it was, in fact, intended for me. I’ve been involved in so many minor broadcasting disasters over the years that I’d more expect to be inducted into the Hall of Blame.

“This is an unexpected but deeply appreciated honour and I am eternally grateful to the PPI Radio Awards Committee for making me a recipient. Broadcasting has been an incredibly significant part of my life and I often say BBC Radio Ulster is my third family. Throughout my broadcasting career – which is virtually my entire life – I have always felt very supported and encouraged and I certainly wouldn’t be here today without them.”

Peter Johnston, Director, BBC NI, says: “Walter is one of BBC Northern Ireland's longest serving and best loved presenters. His dulcet tones have entertained and informed our listeners on BBC Radio Ulster for decades. This award is a fitting recognition of the esteem in which he is held by all of us."

Fergus Keeling, Head of Radio, BBC NI, says: "Next year BBC Radio Ulster celebrates its 40th anniversary and Walter has been here since the beginning. He is a much loved and admired member of the BBC Radio Ulster family and a gentleman in the truest sense.

"Throughout his lengthy career he has worked across a range of programming – often in darker days of our history - with skill and poise. Jazz Club, his long-running specialist music programme which he both presents and produces, continues to be a jewel in our weekend schedule and his passion and encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre is infectious.

"Walter is a pleasure to work with and to listen to and this recognition from the PPI is beyond well deserved. I am thrilled for him."

Since its establishment in 2012, the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame has been recognised as one of the most respected honours to receive in the world of Irish radio. Also inducted this year were Paul Claffey from Mid West Radio, Tony Fenton from Today FM and Áine Lawlor from RTÉ Radio 1. Previous inductees include Mario Rosenstock, Joe Duffy, Marion Finucane and Gay Byrne.

Sean Murtagh, PPI Radio Awards Committee Chairperson said: “We are delighted to induct Walter Love, Áine Lawlor, Paul Claffey and Tony Fenton into the PPI Radio Awards Hall of Fame. They rightfully take their place alongside the 14 other great Irish radio luminaries who have been honoured by their peers.”

Michael O’Keeffe, CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, said: “the BAI is delighted to be a part of this event, now in its third year. We congratulate this year’s inductees to the PPI Hall of Fame, all of whom have contributed to radio broadcasting in the island of Ireland over many years in both national and local radio”.

Walter Love began his career in broadcasting with an appearance on ‘Children's Hour’ in 1946, when he was just 11 years old. Fifty-two years later he went on to receive an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for his services to broadcasting.

Born on 22 June 1935, Walter left school in 1952 with plans to work in accountancy. Instead, he continued as a regular freelance contributor to BBC radio programmes until 1958 when he became a Studio Manager for the BBC in London.

After a posting to Edinburgh for a year, Walter returned to his native Belfast in 1959 where he became a television newsreader for more than a decade.

In 1978 Walter Love became presenter of BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Day By Day’, during which time he was nominated for a Sony Award. Ten years later he moved to the daily afternoon programme with ‘Love In The Afternoon’ and from 1988 until 2006 he was both producer and presenter of ‘Love Forty’ every Sunday afternoon.

Walter currently presents the Sunday evening ‘Jazz Club’ programme on BBC Radio Ulster. A jazz lover since he was first introduced to it on American Forces radio, Walter has presented radio jazz programmes for the BBC continuously since 1960. He was also presented with an Award by Derry City Council in 2009 for his contribution to jazz in Ireland.