Petroc Trelawny takes BBC Radio 3 Breakfast listeners on a live journey across Northern Ireland, from Carlingford Lough to Lough Foyle

BBC Radio 3 Breakfast – live in Northern Ireland

Monday 18 – Friday 22 September, 6.30am to 9am

BBC Radio 3’s much-loved Breakfast programme is on the road again this September, as Petroc Trelawny presents a week of live broadcasts, taking listeners on a lough-to-lough journey across Northern Ireland.

Previous BBC Radio 3 Breakfast road trips have seen the programme travel coast-to-coast across the Scottish Highlands, follow the Rivers Ure and Ouse to the Humber in Yorkshire, and journey along the River Severn from Wales into England and back. Breakfast has also come live from forests in Co. Down, Hampshire and Snowdonia. This year, Petroc explores five Northern Irish loughs and their surrounding areas, with live broadcasts from Carlingford Lough, Strangford Lough, Lough Neagh, Lough Erne, and Lough Foyle, travelling from the Irish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

Along the way, listeners will hear about the building of the RMS Titanic, the peculiar life cycle of eels regularly returning to Lough Neagh, and the literary links related to the town of Enniskillen, by Lough Erne, amongst other stories. Live music by local musicians, and contributions from poets, naturalists and historians will help bring the journey to life, with a focus on the natural beauty and unique landscapes of the loughs.

BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Presenter Petroc Trelawny says: “Our Breakfast road trips have taken us to some of the most beautiful parts of these Islands and I am thrilled we will now reach Northern Ireland. I have had so many happy times visiting Ulster over the years and am thrilled to be able to share the magical vistas, natural history, rich stories and glorious music of the place with a wider audience.”

Celebrating a week of live programmes from Northern Ireland, BBC Radio 3’s drive time programme, In Tune will broadcast from the Great Hall at Ulster University in Derry on Friday 22 September. Presenting a programme with audience in attendance, Sean Rafferty willintroduce performances by some of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, including pianist Ruth McGinley and soprano Mary McCabe, amongst others. Every afternoon, meanwhile, Radio 3 will showcase a range of performances by the Ulster Orchestra, with chamber music from the NI Opera Festival of Voice 2023 at Glenarm featuring on Lunchtime Concert.

BBC Radio 3 Controller Sam Jackson says: “Our week of live broadcasts from Northern Ireland demonstrates the unique ability of public service radio to celebrate the character and history of this very special part of the UK. We hope listeners in Ulster and across the whole country will join us as we discover more about the loughs, the culture and the music of the area.”

All the programmes as part of BBC Radio 3 Breakfast from Northern Ireland, as well as In Tune from Ulster University and the Afternoon Concert and Lunchtime Concert series, will be available to listen to on BBC Sounds.

Programme Information

BBC Radio 3 Breakfast from Northern Ireland

Monday 18 – Friday 22 September, 6.30am –9am

Monday 18 September

On the foreshore of Carlingford Lough, standing between the Mourne and Cooley mountains, Petroc Trelawny and guests explore the cultural and industrial heritage of the area, discovering the story behind the building of RMS Titanic.

Tuesday 19 September

On the banks of Strangford Lough, the programme focuses the rich wildlife and fauna present at Castle Espie Wetland Reserve, with live music and poetry reflecting the natural beauty of the site.

Wednesday 20 September

At Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the UK, this episode investigates the mysterious life and times of the eel, and visits one of many holy wells found across the whole of the island of Ireland.

Thursday 21 September

Spending time in the pastoral setting of Crom Castle on Upper Lough Erne, Petroc Trelawny and guests explore the area’s links with Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, yacht racing and high society.

Friday 22 September

At the tip of Magilligan Point, where Lough Foyle flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the last programme of the week depicts the unique landscape of dunes. We also hear stories of emigration, alongside live music and guests.

Afternoon Concert

Monday 18 September, 2pm-4.30pm

Ian Skelly presents the Ulster Orchestra in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Symphony No.2.

Tuesday 19 September, 2pm-5pm

Join Ian Skelly as he once again celebrates the Ulster Orchestra, who this afternoon perform Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No.5.

Wednesday 20 September, 2pm-4pm

This afternoon, the Ulster Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Symphony No.1.

Thursday 21 September, 14:00 – 17:00

Today’s focus for the Ulster Orchestra is Dvořák’s Symphony No.8.

Friday 22 September, 14:00 – 16:30

Ian Skelly introduces the final afternoon celebration of the Ulster Orchestra, who we hear performing Stravinsky’s Symphony in C.

Lunchtime Concert: NI Opera festival of Voice 2023

Tuesday 19 – Friday 22 September, 1pm-2pm

John Toal introduces four recitals from Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival of Voice 2023, recorded at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim, where pianist Simon Lepper accompanies tenor Robin Tritschler, baritone and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist James Atkinson, and mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons in music inspired by salons and patronages.

Tuesday 19 September

Today’s programme is inspired by Fanny Mendelssohn, including works by Beethoven, JS Bach and Robert Schumann.

Wednesday 20 September

This afternoon, music inspired by Pauline Viardot, including works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Brahms and Fauré.

Thursday 21 September

This recital features music associated with Elizabeth Sprague-Coolidge, including works by Barber, Copland, Rebecca Clarke and Ravel.

Friday 22 September

The last recital of this series features works by Fauré, Debussy, De Falla, Hahn and Weill.

In Tune – live from Ulster University

Friday 22 September, 5pm-7pm

Live from the Great Hall at Ulster University, Derry, Sean Rafferty presents music by some of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, including pianist Ruth McGinley and soprano Mary McCabe.