Some twenty five years ago Mike Nesbitt used to do the Saturday Sports results on BBC Norn Iron. His catchphrase seemed to be “Newry Olympic 3 Lisnagarvey 1” and I dont think anyone of us who heard him adequately read the hockey results would have predicted how his career would pan out.
Switching to read the sports results on UTV, he got himself the “news anchor” seat and who watched his cheery banter with Logie doing the GAA results and Frank doing the weather……..that he would leave journalism and become a Victims Commissioner.
To be honest, I always thought him a bit lightweight for a news anchor. He lacked gravitas. No Walter Cronkite.
And who could have predicted that the next step would be Politics? There might have been no great surprise that this ex-Campbell College guy would be attracted to “English” Conservatives and as he became poster boy for all that Tory-UUP link up in early 2010, there was heady talk about Nesbitt taking the DUP seat at Westminster 2010…….in the wake of the Iris Robinson Scandal.
And he was duly defeated. Some of the “new” type Tory-UUP candidate like Ringland (to Conservative Party) and Hamilton and Bradshaw (to Alliance) and of course serial defector Parsley (to eventually Alliance) drifted off. But Nesbitt clung on to the UUP.
In 2011 he made it into Stormont. And in March 2012 became Leader of the UUP. His performance has been abysmal.
So the image of the old “hail fellow, well met” Sports Guy and the cheeky chappie news amchor has been well and truly ditched by successive appearances in his old Havelock House stomping ground interviwed last night by old colleague, Paul Clark.
Or indeed his pompous appearance today in the Great Hall at Stormont where he solemnly announced he was RELUCTANLY clalling for the protests to be stopped……because someone might get hurt or even killed.