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Stephen Nolan Maghaberry series gets top billing at BBC NI Autumn launch

Stephen Nolan
Stephen Nolan Stephen Nolan

The BBC has announced two upcoming television shows by Stephen Nolan following a tumultuous week for the presenter.

A documentary series presented by Mr Nolan received top billing at the launch of BBC Northern Ireland's new Autumn season of programming yesterday afternoon.

Described as "a powerful and revealing watch", Jailed: Inside Maghaberry Prison follows 2020's three-part documentary series, Nolan Inside Hydebank.

Nolan Inside HydebankNolan Inside Hydebank: Stephen gets special access to find out what it's really like inside Hydebank, home to young male offenders.Posted by Stephen Nolan on Monday, April 27, 2020

Produced by Mr Nolan's production company Third Street Studios and set to air early next month, the new series finds him being given "unprecedented access" to the high security Co Antrim facility and speaking to prisoners and guards about their experiences.

A brief promotional clip for Jailed: Inside Maghaberry Prison was the first of a number of new programme excerpts screened for journalists at yesterday's launch event at Pug Ugly's on Bedford Street in Belfast. It featured scenes from the new series and a voice-over in which Mr Nolan informed viewers what to expect.

"Built to contain our most dangerous criminals and paramilitary prisoners, I've been given unprecedented access to Maghaberry Prison – and I'm bringing you in with me to meet the men who call it home and find out what leads to a life 'inside'."

Stephen Nolan. Picture by Hugh Russell
Stephen Nolan. Picture by Hugh Russell Stephen Nolan. Picture by Hugh Russell

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Speaking about the new Stephen Nolan-fronted series at the launch event, BBC Northern Ireland's Head of Content Commissioning Eddie Doyle said:

"There's genuinely some really incredibly powerful scenes in this series, including material that brings a layer of understanding to prison life that I think audiences won't have seen before.

"While it includes scenes that are quite challenging, I think audiences are really going to find the series very compelling."

Mr Doyle also confirmed that Stephen Nolan's Nolan Live television show will be returning to our screens later this year, although a screening date was not provided.

The announcement comes just days after Mr Nolan apologised for sending sexually explicit images to a work colleague. 

Meanwhile, the SDLP is to raise "a number of serious matters" in relation to Mr Nolan with two Westminster committees because of the lack of a "meaningful explanation" from BBC NI.