Nolan makes a mountain out of a mountain

By James Cridland for
Posted 15 June 2015, 12.04pm edt

BBC / Stephen Nolan

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Stephen Nolan now has a new excuse for nearly missing his show: being stuck up a mountain.

Nolan, who broadcasts on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 5 Live, decided to kick-start his fitness regime by heading to the granite Northern Ireland mountain range, the Mournes with the intention of climbing up part of it.

He's 22 stone, and last year lost 6 stone over a fifteen-week period last year following a 500 calorie a day diet. However, the weight has crept back on: hence his decision to walk up a mountain.

“I decided to climb a mountain. I started climbing and I’m quite stubborn I was determined to get to the top. I didn’t have any suntan lotion and I didn’t have any water and flimsy training shoes. I was that determined to do it I didn’t think things through,” said a red-faced Nolan.

He adds: “I started at 1 o’ clock and I thought I’m on air tonight so have to be at 5 live for 8pm.

“What time did I get to the top at? Half past six! Five and a half hours later."

“I go to phone 5 live to say listen I’m not going to be able to make it tonight. My phone at that stage is out of power so then I was in trouble.”

After a sprint down the mountain, a five mile walk in the wrong direction (with a pulled ham-string) he got to his car at ten to nine, only to find it the car park it was in had been locked.

Nolan was finally rescued by police after charging his phone in the car and dialling for help.

He narrowly made his 5 live talk show, broadcast from BBC Ulster in Belfast, with minutes to go and both amused and panicked his colleagues with his antics.

Controller of 5 live, Jonathan Wall, says: "I’ve been working in radio for 24 years and never has a presenter nearly missed a show because he got lost up a mountain!"

"I bet we can get a press release out of this, and some desperate website might publish it," added Stephen Nolan, except he didn't, because we made that bit up while we were rewriting the press release before publishing it.

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James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


5 years, 10 months ago

Stephen Nolan is probably the best broadcaster inside BBC Northern Ireland since the long gone days of W.D.Flackes!
Making solicited comments on air that could get you shot, literally, commands a lot of attention and respect in a place like Northern Ireland. The Nolan radio show on BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle is knocking the socks off competitors for audience appreciation.
He is probably better doing a mountain treck on a day off his work..

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