Probably more if you count doing hospital radio while at school...
It's the first job I ever remember wanting to do. Like a lot of kids I had a small transistor radio and used to listen to it under the bed covers at night. I always felt it was just a one-to-one relationship between the presenter and me and that's something I've tried to maintain throughout my radio career.
I convinced the boss of 96.7 BCR to let me try Newsreading back in 1994 and within months I was presenting programmes at the station. I grew to love that connection with the local audience and joined Downtown Radio in early 1995.
I initially was a swing presenter for Downtown before accepting a staff job in the Newsroom of Downtown/CoolFM and covered many stories from the Good Friday Agreement to 9/11.
I spent eleven years with the news team and also jumped into programming as the 'cover jock'. I loved the freedom that local commercial radio gave me to do news and present - I could never totally choose one over the other!
Being the cover presenter for a while allowed me to be on at different times of the day and build a connection with the audience. Many becoming friends along the way. I eventually made the move into full time presentation with Downtown and stayed with the station until 2015. I left on a real high with Gospel Time which I produced and presented being the most successful Sunday morning show on local commercial radio. Friday nights Downtown Country which I also produced and presented became the most listened to radio show in Northern Ireland in that time slot!
It's always hard to leave something you love but after 21 years at Downtown an opportunity came my way to join Citybeat in Belfast. The station had been taken over by the Q Radio Network who had ambitious plans for the station and their Northern Ireland coverage. I joined the newsroom in Belfast in June 2015 and quickly became part of a dedicated team with a passion for fast moving news - it was like my early days at Downtown all over again - we were hungry for success and Q Radio across Northern Ireland had arrived!
I was totally engrossed in news and never saw the opportunity coming to present again but it did. Sunday morning presenting fell into my lap again and I wondered what the Q Radio audience would make of me. The music and the studio set-up was totally different for me but as soon as I answered my first phone-call into the studio, I knew the connection with the audience was still there.
I found my presenting voice again and pretty soon the show was a success. I never would have guessed I would make the move completely into presenting again but it felt right. I went on to present #QAfterDark from eleven each weeknight Mon-Thurs along with #QSundayBreakfast 7-10am Sunday mornings.
I still had a keen interest in news and did the desk shift on Saturday's. It was an interesting time with Brexit and the Trump administration at the Whitehouse!
I left Q Radio in December 2017, a brave decision to make just before Christmas but a career move that felt right. My love of news-presenting and the buzz of delivering the big stories has led me to Broadcasting House, Belfast. In July 2018 I joined the newsreading and broadcast journalists team at BBC Radio Ulster!