Sunderland graduate broadcasting to troops in Afghanistan

Forces broadcaster, Mike Howarth.
Forces broadcaster, Mike Howarth.
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A GRADUATE is making waves in Afghanistan to keep up troop morale.

Mike Howarth, a former University of Sunderland student and forces broadcaster, arrived in the country for a three-month tour entertaining British troops for British Forces Broadcasting Service, BFBS.

Mike will be based at BFBS’s studios in Camp Bastion, broadcasting to British troops in Afghanistan and all around the world.

He will be hosting the Ops Breakfast programme, providing a vital two-way link between troops on operation and their families back home.

He began his radio career while studying for a degree in media production (television and radio) at the University of Sunderland, where he co-hosted the breakfast show on the student community radio station. He graduated in 2002.

Mike said: “BFBS Radio is such a unique station – where the listeners go, we go. We’re a vital link back home and to be able to live and work alongside our British Armed Forces for a few months is a dream come true.”

This is Mike’s first tour with BFBS to Afghanistan.

Prior to this, Mike hosted the UK Breakfast show for BFBS and has entertained troops in Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Falklands Islands and Bosnia.

You can tune in to hear Mike on the Ops Breakfast programme on BFBS live from Afghanistan, Monday-Saturday from 3am to 6.30am on DAB Digital Radio in the UK, on FM across the forces world, on Sky Guide 0211, Freesat Channel 786, and via the new BFBS smartphone app.

Anyone with family, friends or loved ones based overseas with the forces can send a message of support online at

Mike is a prime example of how going to university can transform someone’s life and the lives of others.

The University of Sunderland, together with the Echo, is running the Degrees of Success Campaign aimed at encouraging more people to go onto higher education.

Supported by a group of influential people, the campaign aims to increase the number of graduates from Wearside, giving people with talent, regardless of background, the opportunity to fulfil their career ambitions, increase their earnings potential and ultimately enjoy a truly life-changing experience.

Twitter: @SunEchoSchools