The 46-year-old, left, who has also edited The News, Portsmouth, and the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, has been named as the new editor of the Belfast Telegraph in succession to Martin Lindsay, who retired on Friday.
Speculation about the appointment had been mounting since it appeared on an Irish political blog, Slugger O’Toole, this morning.
The news was confirmed at lunchtime today in a statement from publishers Independent News and Media.
Mr Gilson said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking the helm of such a prestigious newspaper as the Belfast Telegraph at such a significant time in the history of Northern Ireland.
“I hope to continue the finest traditions of the newspaper and maintain the high standards laid down by Martin Lindsay.
“Under my editorship we will continue to campaign and investigate without fear or favour but we will also give our total support to good works and deeds that improve the lives of our readers.”
INM (NI) chief executive Michael Brophy added: “We welcome Mike to the newspaper with great enthusiasm. With his experience and track record he will make a major contribution to the future of the Belfast Telegraph.”
Since then, there have been around 25 editorial redundancies at The Scotsman Publications Ltd which publishes the two titles together with the Edinburgh Evening News.
Mr Gilson’s return to newspapers is the second regional press comeback for a former editor in the space of 48 hours.