bmibaby celebrates Halloween with some spooky fun!

Francis Gunn onboard a return flight from Belfast to Birmingham to tell some Halloween tales over the aircrafts PA system.

In advance of Halloween this weekend, low cost airline bmibaby has been helping passengers get in the mood for some spooky fun.

On Tuesday 26 October 2010, bmibaby sent Belfast born storyteller and award winning actor, Francis Gunn, onboard a return flight from Belfast International to Birmingham to give passengers a special Halloween treat.

From dungeons and dragons to witches and wizards and even a tale about a tail, anyone travelling on the flights was greeted through the P.A. system by Francis and his Halloween tales.

Julian Carr, managing director, bmibaby, said:

“Halloween is a fantastic opportunity to recite some ghoulish tales and this spooky passenger treat was all part of our programme of events being rolled out over the next few months, in a bid to put the fun back into flying.”

Story teller Francis Gunn also commented:

“Storytelling onboard an aircraft was a first for me. The passengers, who ranged from business people and students to families and kids, had no idea the event was happening so once the seat belt signs where off I began telling my stories. People seemed pleasantly surprised when they heard my voice over the P.A. system.”

bmibaby currently flies from Belfast International Airport to East Midlands, Birmingham and Manchester.

For more information and to book visit


Katherine Jenkins has announced two Irish dates.  She will perform live in concert at The O2, Dublin on 28th May and The Odyssey Arena, Belfast on 29th May 2011.

Tickets for both shows go on sale on Thursday 4th November at 9am.

Katherine Jenkins in Concert

The O2, Dublin, 28th May 2011

Tickets priced from €49.80 including booking fee

The O2, Dublin: Tel (01) 8198888

Book On-Line:

The Odyssey, Belfast, 29th May 2011

Tickets priced from £55.00 including booking fee

24hr hotline (NI) 0844 277 4455
Odyssey Arena Box Office 028 9073 9074


In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide

By Telephone (24 Hour):

ROI – 0818 719 300, Northern Ireland – 0844 277 44 55

Buy Online:


Compiling a list of the contemporary music world’s most illustrious divas is an interesting mental game to play. Instantly and obviously the figure of Barbra Streisand springs to mind. Streisand is in a rare band of perhaps three international women that can commandeer a devotional gasp from an audience of thousands with one single note. Floating behind her, wind machine positioned just out of frame, ball-gown drifting/flowing gently in the breeze, one might alight upon Céline Dion.

A diva is a singer with a talent that is rare and magnificent enough to border almost on the eccentric; a voice that monopolises the air when it is at full strength and can break a heart at whispering volume. The diva sits outside the realms of casual whim and the daily turn of trend. She is powerful enough to stand and sing alone.

Now where might a lovely young woman from the tiny village of Neath in the Welsh Valleys fit into all of this?

Katherine Jenkins has performed for The Queen, The Pope and The Prime Minister. From her breakout in 2003 where she signed the biggest ever classical deal, 30 year old Katherine has become the premiere ambassador of bringing classical music to a mainstream audience. She is cherished as one of Britain’s favourite singers, equally at home performing in her homeland Wales, or performing on The X Factor.

Throughout her career Katherine Jenkins has broken records, selling millions of albums worldwide, picking up numerous awards and has performed at every single high profile tournament on the British sporting calendar, cementing her status in the classical crossover field.

Outside of Katherine’s recording duties, she has broadened out into the TV world. The last year has seen Katherine present a special BBC series, ‘The Week We Went To War’, as well as be a judge and mentor on the hit ITV1 show, ‘Popstars To Operastars’. This Christmas, Katherine appears in the Christmas special of BBC Television’s Doctor Who.

2010 has been another huge year for Katherine; not only has she released her first record in North America, but she was also personally asked by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to record a version of the theme tune to Love Never Dies, the highly anticipated Phantom Of The Opera sequel, which appeared on the Special Edition of her latest album Believe, released late March which coincided with her sold out UK arena tour.

Her most ambitious album to date, Believe was recorded in the sun-kissed Hollywood Hills, under the expert guidance of world-class star-maker and producer David Foster. Having become one of the UK’s biggest stars, Katherine now feels embedded in her home culture enough to take a risk on cutting loose for the international stage.

As Katherine readily admits, this was the album she always wanted to make; this time she wanted to craft a record that she could take to a new audience, with what producer Foster would call ‘growth without alienation’. Pushing the boundaries on traditional crossover repertoire, Katherine has created a record for the world stage.

‘There is a discussion about women in the music business at the moment,’ she says, ‘I’m always being asked whether I have noticed a change with all these great new female artists coming through. And of course for pop music that seems quite radical. It is fantastic to see these women doing what they are doing and doing it so well. But in the classical world, we are filled with big, strong female characters. It’s something that you almost take for granted. So in the world that I come from the whole idea of strength and femininity is not odd. It’s usual. Strong women are what opera is all about.’

Believe, released through Warner Brothers Records in October last year shot straight into the top 10 of the UK charts. In the last three months of 2009 Katherine sold a staggering 400,000 albums in the UK alone..

Internationally Believe has stormed the charts in various territories including Germany and Argentina as the album is rolled out globally.

Katherine Jenkins releases the Platinum Edition of Believe on Friday 26th November in Ireland.  It includes four brand new songs including In The Bleak Midwinter, a Live Version of O Holy Night with Michael Bolton, and two new John Shank (Take That) produced tracks, Gravity and the new single, Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming.

She also releases a live DVD on Friday 5th November that was recorded at a spectacular show at the London O2 Arena.

Boo at the zoo!

Yhetto and Jenny the Asian elephants at Belfast zoo tucking into pumpkins for Boo at the zoo!

Come along for a spook-tacular day of fun at Belfast Zoo’s ‘Boo at the zoo’ Halloween event on Saturday 30th October 2010.

Enjoy our ‘hallzooween’ trail, creepy crafts, reptile displays and face painting.  There will also be spooky story telling with Mr Hullabaloo and you can learn more about bats with the Northern Ireland Bat Group’s Donna Allen.

Children under 18 will get free entry to the zoo (on Saturday 30 October) if they are in fancy dress and can also enter our fancy dress competition (under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult)!  You can also bring along your carved pumpkins and enter them into the ‘pumpkin patch competition’.

So grab your broomstick and come celebrate Halloween at Belfast zoo.

Go to for more information and a full list of activities. Follow Belfast zoo on facebook and twitter to learn some gruesome and ghastly facts for the zoo’s ‘Spooky Week’!

Mid Term at the Movies…

Check out whats on for this Mid-Term Break!

We have a great line up of Movies showing over this Mid-Term break for all ages.

Paranormal Activity 2

Opens: OCT 22

A sequel to the surprise hit film that took Halloween by storm in 2009. There is little information about the film, except that original director Oren Peli is back as a producer. Tod Williams is directing a screenplay from Michael R. Perry.

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Opens: OCT 22

The adventures of young Ramona Quimby (newcomer Joey King) and her big sister Beezus (Selena Gomez) come to life in this all new film based on the best–selling books (over 30 million…and counting) by Beverly Cleary.

Ramona’s vivid imagination, boundless energy, and accident–prone antics keep everyone she meets on their toes. But her irrepressible sense of fun, adventure and mischief come in handy when she puts her mind to helping save her family’s home.

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Opens: OCT 22

What makes for the ultimate road trip? Hitchhiking, truck stops, angry bears, prickly porcupines and a golfing goose with a duck caddy. Just ask Kate and Humphrey, two wolves who are trying to get home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country.

Humphrey is an Omega wolf, whose days are about quick wit, snappy one–liners and hanging with his motley crew of fun–loving wolves and video–gaming squirrels. Kate is an Alpha: duty, discipline and sleek Lara Croft eye–popping moves fuel her fire.

Humphrey’s motto – make ‘em laugh. Kate’s motto – I’m the boss. And they have a thousand miles to go. Back home rival wolf packs are on the march and conflict is brewing. Only Kate and Humphrey can restore the peace. But first, they have to survive each other.

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Opens: OCT 22

The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd, scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd’s jealousy has terrible consequences causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones.

Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.

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Opens: OCT 22

Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets.

Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive.

To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

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Opens: OCT 15

In a happy suburban neighborhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbors, hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by a small army of minions, we discover Gru planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon, yes, the moon.

Gru delights in all things wicked. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who look at him and see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad. The world’s greatest villain has just met his greatest challenge: three little girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes.

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& Eilidh Patterson
£10 / 7PM

“The standing ovation he received was much deserved as he had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show. Definitely one to watch” The Scotsman
“Everyone should be queuing up for a fix of Jack L”. Scotland on Sunday – five star review*****
“Jack Lukeman – aka Jack L – is perhaps the most singular talent to have emerged from Ireland in the past decade”. The Irish Independent

Irish singer/songwriter Jack L has announced that he will play Auntie Annie’s Belfast on Saturday 4th December. Jack L recently won Best Music Award 2010 during his run of Monday nights in The Spiegel Tent at Edinburgh Festival this summer and garnered some of the best reviews of the entire festival.

Jack released his first self produced platinum seller “Metropolis Blue” in 1999.  Hot Press hailed it “A timeless collection of fine songs, beautifully delivered from an artist as unique as Ireland has ever produced.” Following the success of the album in Ireland, Jack spent 2000 taking “Metropolis Blue” to the USA which won both popular and critical acclaim.  In February 2002, Jack embarked on an Irish acoustic tour that led to the development of his greatest live undertaking so far “The Little Universe Show”.  The show started in May and ended up part of The Edinburgh Festival with rave reviews.  In 2005 Jack returned to the Edinburgh Festival to road test new material for another residency during December in Dublin, selling out three weeks of shows while previewing material from his first album in 5 years, “Broken Songs” which went platinum within a month of release.

Jack triumphantly returned to the capital this year by selling out four shows at Vicar Street. At the moment Jack is writing and recording material for his new album and is preparing for his fifth Pigalle show in London in October to Consolidate an already busy year in the UK after a knockout show in June at Glastonbury.  Jack was the first artist to play three consecutive nights at Glastonbury.  He received a critically acclaimed performance with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in Manhattan in front of 15, 000 people last summer and a nomination for ‘Male Vocalist Of The Year’ at The Meteor Awards

Jack L will be joined by Northern Irish starlet Eilidh Patterson. No stranger to the road, she has delighted audiences across the States, the UK and Europe with her captivating voice and songs.  All of Eilidh’s experiences to date have been distilled into her debut album – the much anticipated When The Time Comes – a collection of 12 beguiling and beautiful songs, capturing the heart and imagination of the listener.  Now based in Belfast, Eilidh is a regular visitor to Nashville TN where she co-writes and performs.

“Eilidh has a voice as clear as the frosty night air and her self-penned songs suggest a maturity beyond her years. Brilliant.” Maverick magazine

“Eilidh Patterson’s voice is velvet and air. The richness of her sound and her songs is something beautiful to behold and she is definitely an artist to watch!”  Beth Nielsen Chapman

“(Eilidh) has an easy going charm and commanding stage presence that demands your attention. Her sweet voice never fails to amaze me. Definitely a star of the future.” Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster

Read more:

Find out more about Jack L:

Tickets for Jack L and Eilidh Patterson at Auntie Annie’s Attic Belfast are priced £10.50  and on sale now from all usual outlets.

Venue:                         Auntie Annie’s Attic
Date:                           Saturday 4th December 2010
Ticket Price:               £10 plus £1.25 booking fee
Doors:                         7.00pm
Support:                     Eilidh Patterson

In person:                    From 22 Ticketmaster outlets province wide (Including Easons) / Katy Daly’s Bar
24hr hotlines:               Tel: (NI) 0844 277 44 55 (ROI) 0818 719 300
Buy online:          /


Today, the makers of Smirnoff reveal that on 27th November 2010 at the Wright Venue, Ireland will receive the best of Argentina’s nightlife culture as part of The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project – a one-of-a-kind global experience in which 14 countries pair up to exchange crates containing the best of their local nightlife. In turn, Argentina will receive the best of Ireland’s homegrown nightlife, as voted by the Irish public.

Continuing on a mission to inspire and enable unique experiences, the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project has uncovered the best of global nightlife, and will now celebrate the outcome when two very different cultures collide to create something extraordinary. A community of more than 40,000 people from across the country submitted more than five hundred suggestions for what best characterises nightlife in Ireland– from fashion trends and musical styles to locally inspired cocktails – via Facebook ( Once all of the suggestions were in, Irish curator Siobhan O’Dowd selected the ones that best represented Ireland’s vibrant and varied nightlife. These ingredients will now be packed into a crate for Argentina  to experience when the world swaps nights in an epic finale on 27th November. It can now be revealed that Argentina can look forward to experiencing entertainment by Irish Dance DJ Dave DeValera along with delicious Irish themed food served in the setting of a traditional Irish pub.   They’ll also be getting a customised crate courtesy of  Irish artist Graphic Artist Shane O’Driscoll, who screen printed iconic Irish imagery, both old and new, inspired by Irish nightlife on one of the panels of the Irish crate that is to be shipped to Argentina.  And, what drink will they be enjoying on the night?  Well, that’ll be an Irish take on the Smirnoff Mule, using the special Irish ingredient of red lemonade! For more information and to win the chance to Be There, become a fan of Smirnoff Ireland at ( Irish curator, Siobhan O’Dowd, says: “I’m incredibly excited to see the best of Irish nightlife come alive for the people of Argentina to enjoy. After weeks of voting and some extraordinary suggestions on what makes Irish nightlife truly unique, the event on November 27th promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience. Argentina, get ready!” What can we expect to land in Ireland? Having conducted a similar search for the best of their nightlife, rallying ideas from the public on best-loved tracks, favourite cocktails and upcoming local talent, Argentina’s nightlife will be taking over The Wright Venue, Swords on 27th November. The pairings for the 12 other countries taking part have been revealed as follows:

Australia – SYDNEY Canada – TORONTO Great Britain – LONDON Germany – BERLIN Lebanon – BEIRUT Poland – WARSAW Brazil – SÃO PAULO & RIO India – MUMBAI USA – MIAMI South Africa – CAPE TOWN Thailand – BANGKOK Venezuela – CARACAS

Drink Responsibly. for the facts

Award winning poetry and music set for Café Horizon

Café Horizon, the newly opened café within the Alley Theatre, announced this week that the venue will be hosting a series of free lunchtime poetry readings for diners to enjoy and listen to. Starting on October 29th at 1 p.m, the official opening day of the café, the restaurant will welcome award winning Irish poet Olive Broderick, winner of the Templar Poetry Prize. In addition to poetry, their will be a early morning acoustic session from Paul Tully, the Strabane musician, from 10.30 a.m – 11.30 a.m.

The Alley Theatre, Strabane

“Olive Broderick was a winner in the 2009 Templar Poetry Prize, with Darkhaired (to be launched at the Derwent Poetry Festival, Nov 2010)” commented Nathan Flatman from the Alley. “She has previously been published in Abridged, Sunday Tribune, Stinging Fly, Ulla’s Nib, and Fortnight. She has also received a Hennessy X.O Literary Award (Emerging Poetry Category) and read at Poetry Ireland’s Poetry Introductions series in 2009.  We are delighted that Olive will be sharing some of her new work with a Strabane audience, which will be free to attend“

“Paul Tully, will be singing a 1 hour set on October 29th, from 10.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. during the official opening of the café, which will also see customers being tempted with some free treats from the delicious Café horizon menu. Both events are free to attend, so why not drop in for a coffee, order some lunch and enjoy two great music and poetry events”.

Community Christmas Cheer with the Ulster Orchestra

Noreen McFarland & Karen Gartside from the Ulster Orchestra prepare for the festive season!

The Ulster Orchestra is to host a free Christmas concert for community groups in the Belfast Waterfront on Friday 3 December at 7.45pm.

Community groups are invited to come along and celebrate the festive season with a light-hearted evening of carols and seasonal music with the Orchestra and guests – conductor Christopher Bell, soprano Mary Nelson and Belfast Philharmonic Choir.

Speaking about the concert, Lydia Gamble, Head of Marketing & Development for the Orchestra, said: “We think it’s really important to reach people in the community who wouldn’t normally come along to a live concert. It’s a lovely time of year to run this sort of event and we look forward to opening our doors to a new audience and spreading some Christmas cheer in the community”.

The Christmas Cheer concert is supported by JTI and up to 15 free tickets are available for each community group on a first come, first served basis. They can be booked through the Ulster Orchestra Box Office on 028 9023 9955 or by emailing (quote Christmas Cheer).

Look out – the Scarecrows are about!

Over the next few weeks you might start to notice a few new faces around Ballyclare!  As part of Autumnfest 2010, which takes place on Friday 29 & Saturday 30 October, traders, community groups and residents in the town are being invited to enter into the spirit of the festival and display their very own scarecrow.

Lisa O’Kane, Tourism and Events Manager explains;

“Following the success of last year’s Autumnfest we are delighted to be launching this year’s programme of autumn fun.  This year we have a scarecrow theme and are encouraging all the local shops to display scarecrows in their windows, with a prize for the best!  We are even running scarecrow workshops for those who are struggling to make their own!  The action packed programme includes pumpkin carving, autumn arts and crafts, a fancy dress disco, a baking competition and apple pie making, to name but a few!”

With entertainment for everyone, it’s an autumnal treat not to be missed and perfect for keeping the kids happy over the mid-term break.

Autumnfest is being organised by Newtownabbey Borough Council and Ballyclare Chamber of Trade and is funded by Newtownabbey Borough Council.  For more information log on to or Tel:  028 9034 0041