Take Ten: Jim Aiken

Take Ten: Jim Aiken

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Slane, Slane Castle




07/07/1987 TXM


12min 10sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, UTV Archive

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UTV’s Ivan Little meets Jim Aiken, Northern Ireland’s leading entertainment promoter and one of the most important figures in Irish music for 50 years. He began his career as a concert promoter during the 1960’s when he noticed that some of the biggest showband acts of the era such as the Melody Aces and the Clipper Carlton were not playing in Belfast. He travelled the world encouraging bands and singers to come to Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and gradually helped to change cultural landscape.

Aiken Promotions, the company AIken founded, managed to attract international entertainers such as Charlie Pride and Neil Diamond to perform in Belfast. In the late 1990s in the wake of the Friday Agreement, he organised open air performances by Sir Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti in the grounds of Stormont in Belfast. These landmark events were followed by further concerts at Stormont by the Eagles, Rod Stewart, and Michael Flatley.

Aiken talks about his passion for the job and joy in bringing music to the masses. Despite having work in the music industry for decades, Jim enjoys mostly ‘’music to read papers to’’. Jim Aiken died in 2007 in Belfast at the age of 74 and will be remembered for the great contributions he made in the music industry.


Jim Aiken was a former board member of the National Concert Hall and Investment Belfast. As a board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland between 1994-1997, he contributed to the formation of the Arts Council as a statutory body and in the development of guidelines governing the distribution of the newly introduced National Lottery proceeds for the arts.


Interviewer: Ivan Little

Interviewee: Jim Aiken



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