Youth Lyric Board

The Board

Lynda Bryans

Lynda Bryans (Chairperson)

Lynda Bryans began her career in the media industry in 1981. Her first job was working as a temporary copy typist for UTV that summer which was immediately followed by a job working as a secretary in the Religious Affairs department at BBC Northern Ireland. She went on to become a newsreader and reporter on BBC’s Inside Ulster, as well as reading daytime news bulletins and briefly covering continuity shifts for BBC NI.

Lynda’s career as a broadcaster began when she applied, as a staff member, for a screen test at the BBC, and she became a continuity announcer and newsreader for the Corporation in Belfast. In an interview with The News Letter, she stated, “I thought I’d apply for a laugh, and ended up being one of six picked out of 100.”

Lynda also presented on network BBC programmes. She was a presenter and reporter for the BBC News and Current Affairs series Here and Now, and also reported for the Holiday programme until its axe in 2007.

Other television credits include Portrush Sea Rescue, News 40, ITV’s recreation of news events from World War II in a contemporary style, and Bethlehem Year Zero and Dateline Jerusalem, recreating the news events at the time of the birth and death of Jesus Christ. From 2001 to 2005, she appeared as an occasional newscaster on the ITV News Channel at weekends.
As well as presenting UTV Live, Bryans and Nesbitt also presented Anglia Television’s networked Sunday Morning series from 1999 to 2001 and UTV’s home and garden series Home Sweet Home in 2004 and 2006.

Carolyn Stewart (Vice Chairman)

Carolyn Stewart, originally from North Belfast, is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular and well-known radio presenters and club DJs.

Carolyn started her DJ career in Belfast’s very first disco bar back in 1985. In the years that followed, her crowd-pulling powers and larger than life personality ensured that she would become one of Northern Ireland’s most popular and in-demand club jocks. The success of her club nights would take her right across Ireland and beyond, including a mammoth 12 week (nightly) stint at some of Europe’s hottest nightclubs of the time. She also went on to win Northern Ireland DJ of the year in 1988.

On her return from Europe, Carolyn undertook her first radio presenting job at Cool FM, the newly formed sister station of Northern Ireland’s largest commercial radio station Downtown Radio. Her nighttime show was hugely popular right from inception (including the much loved feature “Cool Goes Quiet”) and drew unprecedented audience figures for a nighttime programme, even out-stripping the station’s breakfast show.

From 1990 until 2005, Carolyn would be synonymous with Cool FM and it would be synonymous with her. Throughout these years she was to become the station’s most high profile and successful presenter. She also chose to interview unknown acts of the time and helped to raise the profile of fledgling artists such as Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Anastacia, Usher, Destiny’s Child and Beverley Knight. On the back of her RnB-music-loving roots, she also went on to present and produce a specialist RnB Sunday night show on Cool which pulled in thousands of listeners, again contradicting traditional radio industry listening figures for the time of day.

In the mid-nineties and on the back of her radio success, Carolyn also worked as a co-presenter, alongside Patrick Kielty, on UTV’s Saturday morning programme SUS. The show was hugely popular and ran for two summer seasons. Carolyn also presented on the popular UTV/RTE joint travel production Bon Voyage and the BBC’s Petrolheads programme in 2008. Carolyn also presented UTV Life’s weekly entertainment guide for the best part of the noughties.

Carolyn left Cool FM in 2005 to join UTV’s new radio station U105. She initially presented U105-late (also known as “the Night Birds show”), Monday to Thursday 9pm to 12pm and the hugely successful Saturday Night House Party, Saturdays 6pm to 10pm. After just over a year on air, she presented and single-handedly produced a one-of-a-kind and never-been-done-before “Night Birds Night Out” live show from the television studios of UTV with a live audience as well as live music and guests – the show went on to be nominated for a best show gong at Ireland’s PPI Awards in 2007. Carolyn now presents the U105 Lunchtime show 12-3pm, the hugely popular Lunchtime Bistro and the upbeat and lively Saturday Night House Party from 6pm -10pm.

Carolyn Stewart
Jim Browne

Jim Browne (Financial Guarantor)

Jim Browne is Youth Lyric’s financial guarantor. He is retired after many years as a Director in the Health Service. He has been a member of the Youth Lyric Board of Trustees  since 2003.

William Scott (Board Member)

William has been a keen supporter of Youth Lyric for over twenty years,
and was delighted to accept an invitation to join the board of trustees in 2016.
William is a Television Director at UTV.

He joined Ulster Television in 1974 and has worked on a huge variety of programmes, including seventeen years of The Gerry Kelly Show.
Retiring in the summer of 2018 he is looking forward to having more time to dedicate to working for Youth Lyric.

William is a member of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

William Scott
Natalie Gilbert Tutor Youth Lyric

Natalie Gilbert (Board Member, Head of Curriculum and Tutor)

Natalie Gilbert has been teaching Drama for 27 years and is currently Head of Performing Arts at Antrim Grammar, where she coordinates GCSE Drama and A-level Performing Arts classes.

Natalie is also currently a CEA examiner and visits schools in Northern Ireland each year to watch and assess A- level performances.
A tutor at Youth Lyric for over 20 years Natalie thoroughly enjoys teaching acting skills and preparing students for their Trinity Guildhall acting exams.  Natalie is also the staff representative on the Youth Lyric Board of Trustees.

Joanna Dickey (Board Member and Tutor)

Mrs. Joanna Dickey has a First class honours degree in English and Drama and a PGCE from Queen’s University in Belfast. Joanna is also a teacher and Head of Year at Antrim Grammar School.
Joanna is the newest member of our teaching team and her work in preparing students for Trinity Guildhall examinations, led to some of our best ever results. Joanna has recently been appointed as an A Level Performing Arts examiner for CCEA and looks forward to this new role.

In February 2019, Joanna will direct Youth Lyric’s Creative Community Showcase in Antrim Courthouse theatre – an opportunity she has dreamt about, being a local resident of the area. This production has been made possible because of the largest ever grant which Youth Lyric has received. We thank the Enkalon Foundation for their most generous support!

Joanna Dickey Tutor Youth Lyric

Kate Nicholl MLA (Board Member)

Kate Nicholl is a Northern Irish politician who is an MLA for Belfast South and who served as the 79th Lord Mayor of Belfast from June 2021 until her election as an MLA in May 2022. She is a member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. A former pupil of Youth Lyric Kate joined the Board in November 2022 and is delighted to be supporting Youth Lyric in this way.

Roy Creelman (Treasurer and Board Member)


Roy has a BSSc in Economics and Business and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He has many years of experience in auditing, business and tax planning. He is a member of the IOD Education Committee and past chair of governors at Down High School. He enjoys music, especially Van Morrison, and is a keen Arsenal fan.

Sarah Cochrane

Sarah Cochrane, Partner – Carson McDowell LLP (Board Member)

Sarah qualified as a solicitor in 2009 having trained at a national firm in England. She returned home to Northern Ireland in 2013 when she joined Carson McDowell LLP’s employment team.

As a dual qualified solicitor (in England & Wales and Northern Ireland), Sarah specialises in all aspects of employment and equality law. She advises many leading employer clients across the UK on matters including discrimination, grievances, disciplinaries and the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

Sarah is Secretary of the Employment Lawyers Group (NI) and a member of the Employment Lawyers Association (England and Wales). She is regularly asked to speak at employment law conferences and updates and is ranked by Chambers and Partners, the industry guide for lawyers.

A keen music and theatre fan, Sarah’s free time will often be spent at shows and concerts with her family. She is very much looking forward to supporting Youth Lyric and to seeing its continued success.