Frank Mitchell

Splitting his time now between U105 radio, his weather updates and filming ‘Ultimate Ulster’, Frank Mitchell is familiar with both forms of broadcast media but still enjoys its simple pleasures.

How did you get involved in the media?

I was always keen to work in the media. When I was 15 I was a bedroom DJ with a turntable and tape recorder. By the time I was 17 I was broadcasting on a community station in Dundalk. As a result of the experience I was given a job as a radio producer in BBC Radio Ulster. I worked for the BBC for two years before joining Downtown Radio as a presenter. Eventually I transferred to UTV and U105 and I have presented a number of different programmes for the company.

Please describe your average daily routine.

I arrive every morning for the radio production meeting at 8am. I am on air from nine until noon. The programme is a fast-moving mix of interviews, listener reaction and quality music. My lunch break is 12pm to 1pm. After lunch there is another radio production meeting before I link up with the TV studios for three separate weather forecasts. There is also ongoing daily work for the new series of ‘Ultimate Ulster’ which I will be presenting later in the year.

What advice would you give to a young person considering a media career?

I always tell young people the media is the best industry in the world to work in. It is outstanding in terms of job satisfaction. In recent times a huge number of young people have chosen to study media and as a result there are not enough well-paid jobs to go round. It’s difficult to find a full-time job with mortgage-paying prospects but if you do, you will have a wonderful career.

What are the greatest challenges?

When is comes to challenges it’s important to remember you are in the public eye. The public quite rightly believe they can give you advice, comment and feedback morning, noon and night. You have to keep that in mind and it helps to have a friendly manner. I love the banter with the people I meet. You need confidence and you must be able to work to deadlines in a team situation. One of the great benefits for me is the team in UTV Media. I am surrounded by great people.

What do you enjoy most about presenting?

I love the buzz that comes with presenting both radio and television. It’s such a rewarding job. I meet so many interesting people and discuss all sorts of topics. I love interacting with the public and when the red light is on I feel privileged to be the person steering the conversation or presentation.

How different are the technologies for TV and radio?

Everything is changing so fast in both radio and TV. The radio station is now like a massive iPod. It is all mouse clicks and computer tricks. As for the TV studio it’s a changing environment as well. The advances in technology mean fewer people are needed to staff the studio but the workers all need to be multi-skilled. It’s a real pleasure to work in both studios each day.

If you had the chance to meet up with three people for lunch, who would they be?

I have been very lucky to have met and interviewed some amazing people over the last 20 years. They vary from world leaders to Hollywood actors and local sports stars to local school children. It has been a pleasure to meet them all but if I was having lunch with three people I have never met, I would be reading the menu with Sir David Jason, John Fogerty and Steve Earle.

What do you do to relax?

As for relaxing, I love walking in the hills of Donegal. As for total joy, it’s the time spent watching my daughter growing up.

Show More
Back to top button