Art Bell, a veteran radio personality and master of the paranormal, near-death experiences, UFOs and weird science will be back behind the microphone in the fall with a new show on Sirius XM Radio, it was announced Tuesday.
Bell, one of radio’s top syndicated voices in the 1990s before walking away from his nightly show in 2002 due to family issues, hasn’t been on the air since Halloween 2010.
"I missed it terribly," said Bell, 68, whose weeknight show, Art Bell’s Dark Matter, will air live from a studio at his home in Pahrump, Nev., near the storied Area 51.
A Sirius representative reached out to Bell through social media a few months ago, and talks began about his new show, which will be a mix of interviews and call-ins from viewers. No contract terms were revealed.
Sirius XM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein said the show would be "uncensored, unrestricted, uncluttered and utterly unique." It’ll debut Sept. 16.
"There's probably more interest in the genre now than when I did it," Bell said. "When I did it, I was damned near alone."
George Noory replaced Bell on his syndicated show , but Bell said his rival’s show isn’t “edgy enough.” Their programs won’t compete directly live.
Bell will be a newcomer to satellite radio, but is anxious to jump aboard.
"I've always been a technological junkie,” he said. “The mix of what they're giving me, the freedom that they're giving me, is priceless.”
In an interview in 2002
, Bell showed off his love of all things geeky, bragging about his construction of a giant 1,000-foot antenna – and how his mastery of Ham radio allowed him to tune in the world.
You might be “surprised to find that most people really aren't that interested in talking about the US. They're more interested in their own lives, and in the hobby itself. A lot of the conversations are just about radio,” he said.
He also described his fascination with science fiction “that's based on science fact, or that which is about to be science fact.”
“I like things that are projections of what's likely to be,” he said “I don't like something so fantasy filled that I couldn't imagine it ever happening. I like things that could come true. That's how I conduct the show."
Bell, the author of “The Art of Talk,” was a 2008 inductee to the National Radio Hall of Fame, and one of the top five most listened to talk hosts in America when he was syndicated weeknight from 1993-2003, cboasting 15 million listeners on 500 radio stations, according to deadline.com.
He started in radio at 13, when he became a licensed amateur radio operator. He then hosted radio shows while serving in the Air Force in Vietnam, became an engineer when he returned to the U.S., and had a late night show on a Las Vegas radio station that ultimately became his nationally syndicated show Coast to Coast AM.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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