BBC Radio Ulster presenter Vinnie Harrell has defended the channel, which broadcast two days of pre-recorded shows last month, after admitting he had Covid-19.

reporter was responding after being called into Wednesday’s show by a caller who explained that he was “disappointed” with some of The Nolan Show’s “outings.”

A caller named John said: “You’ve been on for the last couple of weeks and I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with some of your results because we’ve had replays on the radio.

“We had the Big Walk program, the Big Walk is not part of the Stephen Nolan show. We get enough replays on television. We are being made to pay £159, now there are replays on the radio.’

The channel said last month that the airing of the pre-recorded specials was “due to resource constraints” and that showrunner Stephen Nolan was “currently on holiday”.

In place of the live programme, a pre-recorded special featuring Northern Ireland football legend Sammy McIlroy, as well as interviews with Sir Michael Parkinson and comedian Sarah Millican, aired.

Mr Harrell explained: “You might have known a week or so ago there were some issues with a lot of people being sick, staffing issues.

“Because of that, there were some replays. It’s not something that happens that often, but I take your point, some reps are exposed.

“I had Covid myself. There were staffing issues and that’s what led to some of these pre-recorded programs and as soon as we were able to get the live programs back on the air, that’s exactly what we did.”

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