Popular UTV continuity announcer Julian Simmons has undergone major heart surgery.
UTV, the ITV broadcaster for Northern Ireland, is one of the few broadcasters to still use ‘in vision’ continuity with most others opting for audio announcements over station logos only. It appears however many find the latter format rather bland as Julian’s programme links proved to be personality lead and incredibly popular.
Such is his legend SKY users have been turning to UTV to see Julian’s witty links, including all-too-telling facial expressions, into soap Coronation Street rather than watch the mundane generic announcement from ITV1. Recently Julian’s links were voted one of the best things about the local station in a poll undertaken by programme Ultimate Ulster.
Fans of Julian have been left wondering of late where their favourite star is and will be left surprised today to learn of his hospital spell.
Simmons is recuperating in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland media report, after he underwent a quadruple heart bypass.
Julian has been a regular face on what started life as Ulster Television for almost three decades. In the summer he launched UTV’s latest presentation idea, which was to include viewer videos within the stations branding.
“We launched our new on air look in January to reflect life in Northern Ireland and viewers will be familiar with them.Now we want to know what you do in your everyday life, whether it’s sport, a hobby or just a day out with the family, just film it and you could be the next star of UTV.” Julian said at the time.
However it seems to many viewers there is only one star of UTV and he’s been much missed while off screen and his fans will be wishing him a speedy recovery.