The show must go on - that is what Gerry would have wanted

Sean Coyle and Gerry Anderson.
Sean Coyle and Gerry Anderson.

Gerry Anderson’s broadcasting partner Sean Coyle took to the airwaves yesterday morning to continue the show the two presented together on Radio Foyle.

That’s what Gerry would have wanted,” he said.

Coyle was speaking after the 69 year-old passed away on Wednesday evening. Gerry Anderson had been off air for a number of years battling ill health.

His funeral will take place on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in St. Eugene’s Cathedral followed by burial in the City cemetery.

Yesterday on Radio Foyle Stephen Nolan told Sean Coyle it was a “sad day”

“Especially for you Sean,” he said. “I know what a tough and important show this will be for you as I know what your friendship was like, my condolences to you.”

Sean thanked Nolan for his tribute and revealed how he and Gerry had spent 30 years working together.

“What I am going to do today is play music that Gerry loved beginning with one of Gerry’s favourite songs by Nina Simone. He loved Nina Simone.

“But Gerry never liked me to like the same music that he liked. When I started liking something he liked, he would say that he didn’t like it anymore.”

In 31 years Sean said he and Gerry never had a cross word.

“We never ever fell out,” he said. “But I loved fighting with him.”

During the show Sean read out many messages from listeners. One listener said: “I’m sorry to learn about your old pal Sean. You gave us so much happiness despite his taste in music.”

And Coyle laughed when he imagined Gerry in heaven laughing at him, pointing down at him saying “You’re next, you’re next, there’s a nice wee warm spot up here for you.”

Michael Bradley from BBC Radio Foyle said many listeners to the show were shocked and saddened to hear of Gerry’s death.

“We knew he was seriously ill but we always hoped he could come back,” said Michael. “When someone Gerry knew died, he never gushed, he had the right attitude and was always a person who spoke very genuinely.

“We had to go on and do the show yesterday, if we hadn’t we knew Gerry would be laughing at us. The show was about Gerry’s music, Sean’s memories of Gerry and the memories of the listeners.

“Gerry was a man who discovered great talent on the radio including Charlie Landsborough. I sat and listened to some of Gerry’s podcasts about the Dungiven salesman and the swimming lessons. So many moments we won’t forget.”