Mike’s journalistic career began within the BBC’s sports department in the mid-1980s. In 1986, he became one of the regular presenters on BBC Radio Ulster’s breakfast news and current affairs offering, Good Morning Ulster.
In 1990, he moved to PR company Anderson Kenny. By 1992 he had shifted back into regular TV presenting, becoming one of the main anchors on UTV’s regional news programme, Six Tonight. He quickly established himself as one of the key figures within the station’s news department.
However, in February 2006 came the shock announcement that Mike was not renewing his contract with UTV. Speaking at the time, he said: “I have decided to leave because I just feel very strongly that the time has come to move on.
“I believe it is time for a new challenge and I have several projects in the pipeline.
“I will be sorry to leave behind a very fine bunch of journalists, and above all, will miss working with my wife Lynda, who is a key factor in UTV’s success story.”
Other TV credits: Sunday Morning (ITV, 1999 2001), a religious affairs programme, co-presented with his wife Lynda Bryans; Counterpoint, and its successor Insight (UTV, 1992 – early 2000s), a current affairs programme; Home Sweet Home (UTV, 2004 – 2006), a home and garden series, co-presented with wife Lynda.
When he stepped away from on-screen roles, Nesbitt and his wife set up their own independent media services company.
In January 2008, Mike was confirmed as the Victims Commissioners for Northern Ireland – a role established by the Northern Ireland Assembly to highlight the interests of victims of The Troubles. He left that post in February 2010 to stand as a candidate for the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists in the Strangford constituency in the 2010 General Election. He lost out to the Democratic Unionist Party’s Jim Shannon. A year later, Nesbitt stood in the 2011 Northern Ireland Assembly election, again in Strangford. He was elected, along with 5 other MLAs in that constituency. On 31st March 2012, he was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. He remained in that role until 2017.
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Mike which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.