BBC gay presenter makes Radio 4 debut with preacher man
Ashley Byrne, presenter of the BBC’s only gay radio programme, will make his BBC Radio 4 debut this week.
He has executive produced I Got Up Out Of My Seat, a documentary about the legendary American evangelist Billy Graham, presented by Sir David Frost.
As well as presenting the weekly programme Gay Hour on BBC Radio Manchester, Ashley is creative director of Made In Manchester Productions, an independent television and radio production company.
The documentary tracked down many of those who responded to the American evangelist Billy Graham’s preaching at Haringey in 1954 and recorded their stories for a radio documentary.
Producer Andrew Graystone said: “Our estimate is that at least 80,000 people “got up out of their seats” at the Haringey Crusade. It’s been fascinating to research what became of them and how it impacted their lives for good or ill.
“It is clear that the Haringey Crusade of 1954 had a huge and lasting impact on the church. But my honest assessment is that it had a very small impact beyond it.
“A great many people contacted us to say that hearing Billy Graham preach at Haringey was a defining moment in their life. But it’s clear that most of those who “went forward” already considered themselves Christians – or at least well on the way. It was a significant step in affirming their commitment.
One of those who was touched by Graham’s preaching was Sir David Frost, who presents the Radio 4 documentary.
He went to Haringey with his church youth group at the age of 15, and says that he would probably have responded if he hadn’t been afraid of missing the bus home!
He remains fascinated by Billy Graham and has interviewed him many times.
I Got Up Out of my Seat is broadcast on Friday 25th May at 11am on BBC Radio 4.