By Annie Driver in Birmingham
The BBC local radio broadcaster Bob Brolly, one of the best-known Irish voices in the West Midlands, has been taken off the air for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis, he told the Irish World.
It is the first time in 27 years, he said.
Mr Brolly is from Derry and long term based in Coventry and presents the ‘Bob Brolly Irish Programme’ every week with a regular roster of songs by Big Tom, Joe Dolan, Margo, Daniel O’Donnell, Nathan Carter and others.
In the meantime, Bob will be playing music on BBC CWR between 2-6pm on a Sunday.
He has raised millions for charities across the West Midlands, for which he was presented with an MBE by Prince Charles in 2003, and an Apostolic Blessing from Pope John Paul II in the Vatican.
He told the Irish World he is hopeful the BBC will bring his show back after the crisis: “(But) the most important thing at this time is that everybody does the right thing to stay safe and look after each other.
“We all want to be together when all this is over for a bloody big party. When the coronavirus is gone, we’ll have a big party.”
He said he is particularly concerned about protecting his younger brother Paul who suffered a life-changing serious injury nearly thirty years ago: “We’re doing the best we can, if he gets it, it’s very serious. He broke his neck and was on a ventilator in a spinal unit for two years.
“As long as everyone’s safe at this time, that’s the main thing.”