I can call him ‘local’ because I would often meet Gerry walking through Muff village or around Culmore Point. He always had a bright ‘hello’ for you and a smile on his face! So he was indeed a local man and always made himself ‘one of us’! But Gerry was never ‘one of us’…Gerry was a man in a league of his own.
Gerry Anderson was broadcasting for 30 years. He’ll be fondly remembered for his time on the Northern Ireland radio stations, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle. Tributes are being paid since early this morning on social media and everyone is devastated at the loss of the great broadcaster. Local man Mark Burns has said on his facebook: ‘It seems like the whole place is just heart sore today. And we’ll never hear the likes of this live on radio again’. He has added a link of Gerry on radio. How true his words are. These are just echoing what everyone else is saying and thinking throughout this sad day.
Mark Patterson from Radio Foyle has said: ‘All of us are a bit numb in here today. We are all too aware that this brilliant, intelligent, mischievous, funny, irreverent man meant the world to thousands and thousands of people here and far beyond. A brilliant writer and essayist…and the finest broadcaster any of us will ever know.’
Gerry did indeed entertain many people and he will be missed by all of them and more. Our airwaves will never be the same. But how fortunate are we to have had such immense talent on those airwaves for so many years.
And we are also fortunate to have lived among such a larger than life person. Gerry lit up a room when he entered. If it wasn’t his smile, then it was his quirky attire. Gerry was hugely talented on air, but he was also talented for what he was wearing.
One of my last memories of meeting Gerry was at our local shop, Spar, in Muff village. There I said ‘hi’ to him as he was leaving the shop and I was entering. Gerry said ‘hello’ and sauntered out. I turned my head to look after him….there he was, a man of 60+ in his skinny jeans and open laced ankle boots. I just thought ‘whao, one cool guy’! And I guess that’s how I’ll remember him, ‘One Cool Guy’! Rest in Peace Gerry. The airwaves above are truly blessed today!
Thoughts and prayers are with Gerry’s family at this time.