Derry radio presenter Gerry Anderson is “on the mend” and will be back on the airwaves “in due course.”
Friend and co-presenter Sean Coyle has told listeners that Gerry is expected home soon after a recent stay in hospital.
Coyle spoke out publicly for the first time after his colleague’s sudden disappearance from his popular morning show in December.
Hundreds of listeners have been in contact with the show enquiring as to Gerry’s welfare.
Coyle told one listener who rang into the morning show which he’s been hosting in his friend’s absence: “Gerry is on the mend. It’s all good news about Gerry.”
Later, he told another listener: “I was talking to Gerry on the phone a couple of days ago and he’s fine - he’s good.
“He’s in good spirits and looking forward to getting home soon - hopefully in the next couple of days.
“He’s still in hospital but they’re telling him he should be home within a fortnight - so that’s good.”
The BBC has remained tightlipped about the Derry presenter’s condition and earlier this year would only say that he had “taken some time off for health reasons and wishes his privacy to be respected.”
A spokesman added that Gerry “will be back on BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle in due course.”
Gerry - a Sony award winner - started in radio at BBC Radio Foyle in 1985 and it wasn’t before long that his programme was picked up by BBC Radio Ulster and given a wider audience.
His contribution to solving the Derry/Londonderry name dispute was to popularise the jocular name “Stroke City” which became the title of one of his radio programmes from 1992 leading some of his friends to rename him “Gerry/Londongerry”.