Northern Ireland news

Nolan still not back on Radio Ulster but says 'Bye bye' to Santa Monica

Stephen Nolan has been absent from the Radio Ulster airwaves for several weeks. Picture by Hugh Russell

STEPHEN Nolan had still not returned to the Radio Ulster airwaves yesterday but a tweet suggested his American holiday was coming to an end.

The Belfast-born presenter has been absent from his morning radio show for several weeks as he enjoyed time in the United States.

The BBC website indicated that he last presented his popular weekday phone-in show on December 15.

On Sunday, he posted on Twitter "Bye bye Santa Monica. You make me feel at peace" along with several photographs of the sunny US location.

However, asked if there was a date set for his return to The Nolan Show, a BBC spokesman said only: "Stephen is on holiday and will return to his normal schedule soon as planned."

The corporation also refused to say last week when he would return to the airwaves.

Other presenters including Vinny Hurrell have stepped in to front the show, but his absence has been noted by some of his Twitter followers.

One posted on Mr Nolan's Twitter page: "Back to do some work Nolan. You have already taken too much holiday", while another added: "Sure stay, Vinny's doing a great job".

Others, however, said they wanted the regular host to return, with one writing "we have missed the craic".

The broadcaster has previously said he needed more "me time" and wanted to "live a bit in 2018 as well".

Mr Nolan has also tweeted of his love for Santa Monica, telling his Twitter followers: "When I retire, my dream would be to live in NI for nine months a year, and LA three months a year."

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