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Kelly appointed BBC NI Head of News

May 22, 2023

BBC Northern Ireland has appointed Kevin Kelly as Head of News and Current Affairs.  Kelly had been interim Head of News and Current Affairs since January 2022 and succeeds Adam Smyth, who was recently appointed Director of BBC NI. Kelly will have lead responsibility for the BBC’s News and Current Affairs output in Northern Ireland, including its newsroom operations in Belfast and Foyle.

Kelly was previously Editor for BBC NI’s Newsgathering and Network News from 2013 to 2022, and Editor of The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster and Executive Producer of Nolan Live from 2006 to 2013. Kelly joined the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist in January 1994. He was BBC NI’s first News Field Producer, co-ordinating coverage of major news events including the Drumcree Parade years, the Northern Ireland peace talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement, and the Omagh Bombing. He was also a Senior Producer with BBC Network News’ Ireland Bureau for many years, as well as spending a year working for the BBC in Sarajevo in 2003.

Kelly commented: “It’s a privilege and an honour to be given the responsibility of leading BBC NI’s outstanding team of journalists, whose work is much valued by our audiences. The media and news landscape here is constantly evolving and I want to develop and grow the services that we provide and to make sure that they are a relevant and central part of the everyday lives of people here. Trusted and impartial journalism matters and it’s now more important than ever. My role will be to support the BBC’s news teams in Belfast and Foyle in delivering first-class journalism that keeps audiences at its heart, both now and in the future.”

Adam Smyth added: “Kevin brings a wealth of experience and leadership skills to this new role. He is widely respected for his editorial judgement and has a deep commitment to BBC journalism, its values and the role that our news and current affairs output plays in public life. Kevin is ambitious for the service that we provide. He understands why it matters and will be tireless in his efforts to secure its future in a fast-changing world.”

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