Sarah Brett has become a regular fixture in the mornings of many people across the North West as co-presenter on BBC Radio Foyle’s flagship breakfast programme.
At the desk in her studio on the Northland Road Sarah has covered everything from the triumphs of Derry’s City of Culture year to the hard-hitting news stories which have dominated headlines locally and further afield.
Last Friday night Sarah - a native of Donegal - was awarded the title of News Broadcaster of the Year at the prestigious PPI awards in Dublin.
It was an award, she says, she “hand on heart” did not expect to win.
“A whole gang of us went down. We were just delighted to be nominated and we were very proud to be flying the flag for Derry,” Sarah told the ‘Journal’.
The night got off to a great start for the Radio Foyle team and for Sarah when ‘Pure Culture’ - the station’s morning show dedicated to Derry’s year in the spotlight won a bronze.
“Our entry had only been taken from 15 episodes because of the deadline. For it to get a bronze for only three weeks of work was fabulous and a real testament to Mickey Bradley - the best producer I have ever worked with. It has been brilliant to work with him - every day is filled with fun and naughty jokes.”
After the announcement of the Pure Culture win, Sarah said she decided simply to “relax and enjoy the night” - never for one second thinking she was in with a chance of winning.
“It was a great night. Genuinely I felt a little starstruck - it was brilliant for me to reconnect with the news production in the South - to see what great work is coming out of there.
“When they started to read out the awards for News Broadcaster of the Year they read our bronze first and I looked over at Stephen McCauley and said “That was the only chance I had so let’s just relax now.”.
“I was laughing and was in the middle of ordering a round of drinks and my name was read out. It didn’t even register with me. The next thing I knew Mark Patterson was pulling me up onto my feet - and there I was walking towards the stage.
“I was handed the award and I looked down at our table and saw the team, all cheering - and then I thought I was going to cry, there on the stage. I could not believe it.”
The night was finished off wonderfully when Radio Foyle was named Station of the Year - and that moment Sarah said was just “perfect”. “That was it, just total joy. I felt so proud of Radio Foyle.”
With the win under her belt, rumours have already started to circulate that Sarah may soon be set for bigger things away from the team at Foyle. But Sarah’s not sure what the future may hold.
“The way it has gone for me so far I genuinely couldn’t tell you. I am probably the worst person to ask about my future because if you and asked me two weeks ago if I would have won this award I would have replied “Not on your nelly, no chance”.
“I am very, very passionate about Radio Foyle as a station and I believe that it is essential that Derry has its own Radio Station and by essential I mean as essential that we one day have the A5.
“If I ever do get that offer to do something else, it would be a huge wrench. There is no way I would have won this without two things - all the people I have worked with and especially the team that are there now and our listeners.”