Gerry's career came about almost by accident. His early days in Downpatrick were a struggle. His alcoholic father abandoned the family, his mother worked all the hours she could, providing him with an education that was his springboard to success.
He originally entered broadcasting because he was mistaken for somebody else. But after a number of years and many early challenges he was within hours of packing it all in and going back to teaching, until some colleagues urged him to persevere. And so he embarked upon a unique broadcasting journey, through the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, persuading, begging, cajoling and browbeating celebrities into flying to Belfast for his show.
Gerry Kelly became an icon for those struggling to retain a semblance of normality in an embattled society. Professional recognition came in his admission to the Royal Television Society's Hall of Fame. When the show finished, the fallout for Gerry and his crew was akin to a bereavement. But for the previous seventeen years, they had enjoyed every single minute.