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Author Henry McDonald talks about his new novel Two Souls

9 Sep 2019

Henry McDonald is a journalist and author. He is probably best known as the Ireland correspondent for the Guardian and the Observer. But there is much more to his thirty year (plus) career.

As an author he has published books about paramilitaries and politicians, he has been a teacher of journalism, a broadcaster and within the last year has moved to work fulltime in the Guardian’s London headquarters.


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Sonja Sleator and Daniel Lynch – musicians

23 Aug 2019 

I’ve known Sonja and Daniel for a couple of years, and I’ve followed the progress of her career over that time. Her new single Protection has just been released. While Sonja has more recently got a wider media profile I wanted to recap on the story so far. Also talk to Daniel about their collaboration and his new project. 

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Producing Virtual Reality

Virtual reality on the podcast this time. I talk to three people creating a VR and an immersive media industry here. Dee Harvey is a producer as is Phil Morrow who runs the production company RETìníZE and Nigel McAlpine who runs Storyfx and Digital Catapult in Belfast.

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“Trouble Songs” – Stuart Bailie

3 May 2018

Music journalist Stuart Bailie’s new book Trouble Songs will be officially published in May, but it’s already starting to stir conversations and commentary. He takes on difficult stories from our history since the mid-1960s at the place where music meets social and political change and through interviews and analysis tries to understand and explain what happened.


Oh Yeah music centre

In June, it will be 10 years since Charlotte Dryden started working in Belfast’s Oh Yeah music centre. Charlotte’s now the Chief Executive of this remarkable organisation which manages a careful balance between celebrating the history of music from Northern Ireland and developing new music, young musicians and music business talent.

Women in Tech

19 April 2018


In this edition, women who work in tech, three leaders who were involved with the Women Techmakers summit which was held in Belfast last weekend.  On Friday evening there were workshops and on Saturday the main event was in W5.

Victoria McCallum was on the podcast to preview the event a few weeks ago, and she’s back to reflect on how it all went. Claire Burn and Danielle Topping were with Victoria when we sat down to talk about the summit and more generally women in technology here.


Maxine Mawhinney’s “The Moment” and Gareth Quinn of Digital DNA

 April 17 2018

Innovations and new ventures in this episode of the podcast (with the really clever name). From TV to YouTube and celebrating collaboration with Digital DNA Belfast.

When Maxine Mawhinney left the BBC this time last year, she had plans and ideas about what she wanted to do. Yet her most recent project was not even on the horizon. A few weeks ago, she announced plans for a YouTube channel,  The Moment with Maxine Mawhinney. In June, Digital DNA returns to St. George’s Market in Belfast – it’s an exhibition, a conference, it’s a get together. The founder is Gareth Quinn and he tells the story of how DNA came about.


Funding creativity – from guitar strings to global exports

11 April 2018


How do you fund creativity? If you are planning to make a business from your passion, be it music or technology or animation or film making or anything from the creative industries, how do you find the financial support to follow that dream? Creativity and innovation needs support, funding and professional advice. 

Vasiliki Carson from Sapphire Capital Partners and Martin Gilchrist from Gilchrist and Co  met me in the Loft shared workspace in Belfast to talk money.


Podcast: Episode 5 – Matthew Scott Founder and CEO of Navada Group

4 April 2018

Matthew Scott is the CEO of Navada Group. The company’s mission, they say, “is to empower your digital audiences to ‘become the story’”. It’s a digital media company, But, that phrase isn’t quite the right description. This year they will launch their single biggest investment — between 30 and 50 digital media channels.

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Andrew Bolster – Farcet Labs

We have two interviews. Victoria McCallum is one of the organisers of Women Techmakers Belfast. The main summit will be held in W5 on Saturday 14 April and there will be workshops the evening before. 

The second part is a conversation with Andrew Bolster – known almost universally simply as Bolster. He was one of the founders of probably the first hacker space in Belfast – Farset Labs. It’s a tech lab, a creative hub, a workshop, a tech store, a networking place and partly a museum of a techie childhood. It also has the biggest blackboard in Ireland.

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Deepa Mann-Kler artist and VR developer

March 21, 2018

In this, the third in this series we have an extended interview with artist Deepa Mann-Kler. I spoke to her in the co-working space at the Ormeau Baths, once municipal bathing house, then after being closed for many years it re-opened as a gallery and now a place where many new and some established tech-businesses share space, facilities and ideas.

Deepa talks about her journey from being a teenage photographer, studying social policy at the LSE in London,  moving to Belfast to work as an equality officer in the city,  becoming an artist and now a creator of virtual reality and immersive experiences.

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Peter McVerry of U105 and John Rosborough talk local radio

March 15, 2018


With an investment estimated to be over £1million from its new owner the Wireless Group, Belfast radio station U105 has moved from its home in UTV’s Havelock House to new offices and studios in a lough-side development in the city.

A week after a nervous mid-day hand over from Frank Mitchell who presented the last programme in Havelock House to Carolyn Stewart in the new City Quays HQ, I sat down with station manager Peter McVerry and the first station manager John Rosborough.

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Pop Up’s Ross Moffett, Sonja Sleator and Chase the River’s Stuart Lunn

March 8, 2018


Music and the business of music is the theme of this first episode of the podcast.

Ross Moffett runs a project called Pop Up supporting young musicians in Northern Ireland, among them Sonja Sleator and Stuart Lunn. I met them at a new co-working space in Belfast Loft Space. There are links to Stuart and Sonja’s music and profiles below.

There is more about the three here