Award-winning children’s television company, Sixteen South Television is searching for the voice of the lead character of their new animated show, Driftwood Bay.

Colin Williams, Creative Director and Executive Producer, Sixteen South, said:  “We’re looking for a 5-8 year old girl to voice the part of Lily, the show’s main character.  No previous experience is necessary, we’re simply looking for someone who can truly capture the spirit of Lily.  Ideally with a soft Northern Ireland or Scottish accent, we’re looking for a little girl with a charming gentle accent.”

Lily is a gung-ho free-spirited five year old who is as rough and tumble as she is sweet and cute.  A real tomboy, Lily loves living on an island and is most at home outdoors.  She loves getting her hands dirty, getting sand and salt water in her hair, shells in her pockets and mud on her boots.

Independent, with a curious mind and a lively imagination, Lily is very enthusiastic about the little things that other people take for granted, seeing things others don’t notice and finding the fun and adventure in everything.  She has an infectious love of the simple things and she never tires of them.  A bit of a chatterbox, Lily is constantly talking to her best friend Gull who is always by her side.

Sixteen South Television will be holding two casting sessions where the producers will audition and record your child’s voice.  Your little one will read a simple monologue, sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and have an improvised chat with the producers of Driftwood Bay.

Castings will take place in Belfast at Sixteen South Television, 7-11 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8AA, on Tuesday 13 December, between 6.00pm and 9.00pm and in Portrush, at the Ramada Hotel, 73 Main Street, Portrush, BT56 8BN, on Thursday 15 December, between 6.00pm and 9.00pm.

For those who cannot attend the auditions, a voice reel can be sent to Sixteen South in advance of the audition dates.  Further details available from Sixteen South Television, tel 028 9024 6775, by emailing or at www.facebook/sixteensouth and at

Alice in Wonderland!

Legend has it that thirteen is an unlucky number. Legend, however, has become rather lazy in his old age and fortunately never made it to the magical realm of Stewartstown. For now, in its thirteenth year, the Stewartstown Panto proves immune to the misfortunes of this fated number and continues to amaze and delight both young and old.

You are invited this year to join Alice as she adventures through Wonderland, where she learns that the most magical of parties always involve tea, afterall one should make tea not war.

As you journey deeper underground through the tangled mystery of all that is Wonderland, you will despair of the tardy White Rabbit, delight in the musings of the Mad Hatter and be doubled in laughter at a host of other colourful characters, including Tweedledum and Tweedledee who just can’t decide who they should be.

As ever the Stewartstown Panto’s return to the Burnavon theatre promises a rollercoaster ride of fun and excitement. Costumed in a fantastical array of colour the characters come alive with songs, dance and riddling rhyme. Come join the fun, but don’t be late or the Queen may take your head off!

The show will run from Friday 6th to Saturday 28th January 2012, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and a Saturday matinee performance at 2.30pm.Tickets are available from the Burnavon Box Office on 028 8676 9949 ( priced £3-10 or £28 for a Family Ticket.

If you catch just one show during the delightful Panto season make sure you catch the Stewartstown Panto for Alice’s adventure through Wonderland is certainly not to be missed!

Calling All Social Entrepreneurs LAST CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS TO ARTHUR GUINNESS FUND 2012 All Applications to be submitted by November 30th

Mick McEveoy from ‘Grow It Yourself’, Kieran Harding from Business in the Community and Clare Strawson from Diageo Northern Ireland. Applications to the Arthur Guinness Fund remain open until 5pm Wednesday, 30th November 2011. Those interested in applying can download an application form from

With only a one day to go before the close of applications on November 30th Guinness and Co. is reminding social entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland to apply to The Arthur Guinness Fund.

Social entrepreneurs are people running projects that are committed to making a positive and sustainable impact on communities with €1.65 million of funding already awarded to a wide range of projects.

Funding is available to Northern Irish social entrepreneurs under two main categories. Firstly, established projects (termed as take-off projects) who have a proven working model in operation for between two to five years and can demonstrate the long term impact they are having in their community, are eligible to receive financial support up to €100,000. This funding will be provided over two years along with a comprehensive business mentoring programme with a view to taking their work to the next level. This includes additional expertise and practical support from Diageo Ireland through workshops, seminars and training.

Secondly, projects that have been established in the last two years (termed as start up projects) can apply to receive up to €50,000 in funding plus the professional mentoring support over two years. This award is specifically aimed at start up projects that require a springboard to help turn their vision into a reality.

Clare Strawson, Corporate Relations Manager, Diageo Northern Ireland said, “We are impressed with the variety and calibre of projects submitted from all over Ireland but we really want to see more entries from Northern Ireland. I strongly encourage any local organisation or individual who feels the work they do would be eligible for consideration to apply to The Arthur Guinness Fund. “

Applications to the Arthur Guinness Fund remain open until 5pm Wednesday, 30th November 2011. Those interested in applying can download an application form from


Today Miss Northern Ireland Fiona Guinnane helped launch the 2011 Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign, an award winning initiative which aims to reduce instances of drink driving and promote safety at Christmas.

Helping to spread truckloads of festive cheer is Miss Northern Ireland Finola Guinnane pictured with Kylie Dunlop, Marketing Manager Licensed Trade Coca-Cola HBC and Superintendent Muir Clark Head of Road Policing, PSNI at the launch of Coca-Cola’s Designated Driver campaign. The award-winning road safety initiative goes live in more than 250 pubs all over Northern Ireland offering safety-conscious Designated Drivers three FREE soft drinks, juice and bottles water from the Coca-Cola range. The full list of participating premises is available on

Safety-conscious designated drivers in Northern Ireland will have something extra to smile about with the news that more than 250 pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants will be giving away free non-alcoholic beverages this festive season, courtesy of Coca-Cola.

Pictured at Belfast’s Custom House Square in a winter wonderland setting straight out of the classic Coca-Cola Christmas commercial, Finola said:

“Christmas is one of my favorite times of year and I’m really looking forward to meeting up and enjoying nights out with my friends and family. The Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign is an excellent idea and I’ll certainly be availing of some drinks on the house, when playing the role of designated driver this year”.

Minister for the Environment, Alex Atwood also expressed his support for the initiative stating:

“I fully support any initiative that improves road safety. As we look forward to Christmas, we have a duty to our own families and friends to ensure we are there to celebrate with them. We also have to ensure other people are able to celebrate with their relatives and friends too.  The safest way to do that is to book a taxi or have a designated driver who will not drink alcohol.

The 2011 Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign goes live on Monday 28th November until Sunday 1st January 2012 and is supported by the PSNI, Pubs of Ulster and the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation.

Muir Clarke, Head of Road Traffic Policing for the PSNI said:

“We are delighted to support this very worthwhile campaign. Our message to road users is very simple. Do not drink and drive. We do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads because someone decided to drive after drinking.”

In Northern Ireland, Coca-Cola supplies a range of beverages and in order to cater for varying preferences, Designated Driver offers a full selection including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon, Fruice Juices and Cordials, Deep RiverRock Still and Sparkling and Appletiser.

Coca-Cola in Northern Ireland makes a range of beverages and in order to cater for varying preferences, Designated Driver offers a full selection including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon, Schweppes Cordials, Deep RiverRock Still, Deep RiverRock Sparkling and Appletiser.

Kylie Dunlop, Marketing Manager, Licensed Trade, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland, said:

“Christmas is about giving and celebrating and through the Designated Driver programme, Coca-Cola is delighted to offer free soft drinks as a tangible reward to consumers for volunteering to be the designated driver on fun night outs this festive season.”

The campaign’s website provides a full list of participating licensed outlets across Northern Ireland. This year, for the first time, designated drivers will be able to download their free drinks vouchers before they visit the venues via the site or by scanning the QR code featured on outdoor advertisements.

A Designated Driver is defined as someone who is driving friends and family home from a night out socialising, while abstaining from alcohol for the evening. The Designated Driver may avail of FREE soft drinks from the Coca-Cola range over the course of the evening in participating licensed premises.


Starring Brendan O’Carroll and Mrs Brown’s Boys

Tuesday 4th December 2012

Wednesday 5th December 2012

Tickets on Sale: THURSDAY 1st DECEMBER at 9am

Brendan O Carroll and Mrs Brown’s Boys are about to embark on a staggering SIX sold-out shows at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, beginning on Wednesday 7th December to Sunday 11th December.

Now Brendan and the boys have now announced that they plan to return to the Odyssey Arena next year with a brand new show, Mrs Brown Rides Again. For a limited run of shows in December 2012.

Earlier this year the BBC and RTE Television show, Mrs Brown’s Boys was nominated for a prestigious BAFTA Award, in the category of Best Situation Comedy. This enormously popular sitcom was broadcast on BBC Television for 6 weeks attracting a staggering 3.1 million viewers across the UK for it final episode.

Brendan O Carroll and Mrs Brown’s Boys have recently completed another series for the BBC including a Christmas special which will be broadcast on primetime BBC1 over the festive period.

This intimate, theatre style show was written by and stars Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown. Full of feisty Irish humour and all your favourite characters and more, Mrs Brown Rides Again is sure to be a real treat, and something to look forward to next year.

For more information on Mrs Browns Boys:

Do not miss MRS BROWN RIDES AGAIN at the Odyssey Arena, December 2012.

Tuesday 4th December 2012

Wednesday 5th December 2012

Tickets priced from £22.00, including booking fee.

In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour): Northern Ireland – 0844 277 44 55 / ROI – 0818 719 300
Book On Line:

The Odyssey Arena, Belfast. Odyssey Arena Box Office: Tel. 028 90 739074
Book on Line:

Make Magical Memories with the National Trust!

This Christmas, The Argory, Moy and Springhill House in Moneymore have some fantastic festive events for the whole family – go along and experience the magic for yourself…

Smell the chestnuts roasting and the mulled wine brewing at The Argory’s fantastic Christmas Craft Fair on 3-4 December from 12-5pm. Enjoy an afternoon choosing gifts from over 60 traditional craft stalls, stocking everything from jewellery and home furnishings to handbags, hats, children’s books and more. Christmas trees, greenery and firewood will also be on sale. Children will have the opportunity to see Santa and Mrs Claus and receive a lovely gift to take home.

The Argory will once again be full of festive fun from 9-11 December, 1-5pm daily. Children can enjoy Christmas story telling before taking a journey on horse and carriage to visit Santa and Mrs Claus in their new grotto in the house. Santa and Mrs Claus will have lots of lovely presents for the children and Mums and Dads can take the opportunity to see the house dressed for Christmas as The Argory steps back in time to the Victorian era.  The halls will be decked with holly and stunning traditional decorations and festive refreshments will be available in the Octagon Room. Booking essential for Santa’s Grotto – contact 028 8778 4753.

From 15-18 December, Springhill will see the return of Magical Christmas Memories, from 3-7pm daily. Mums and Dads can enjoy a glass of mulled wine on arrival whilst the children make Christmas crafts. Begin your journey with a visit to the life size nativity scene complete with farmyard animals, followed by a tour of the house which will be dressed for Christmas. The highlight of your journey will be a visit to see Santa and his elf in their workshop where they have been busy making lots of toys for the children.

Both properties are stunning at this time of year so why not complete the festivities with a fresh winter family walk. Relax in the tea room or browse the second hand book shop to pick up that last minute Christmas gift.

Make it memorable this Christmas with the National Trust….

Booking essential for Santa’s Grotto weekend at The Argory and Springhill

Contact The Argory: 028 8778 4753

Contact Springhill: 028 8674 8210

Christmas Lights switch-on in east Belfast

The countdown to the festive period will commence in east Belfast next week when the Christmas lights are switched on in Ballyhackamore Village.

Belfast City Council is supporting local traders in the area with the special event at The Square on Thursday 1 December (6.30pm – 8.30pm).

The lights will be switched on by Bangor born TV presenter Zoe Salmon. There will be special performances from St Joseph’s and Strandtown Primary School choirs. At the event, there were also be a selection of speciality stalls from local traders to help people with gift ideas for their Christmas shopping.

Speaking ahead of the event, Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, said: “The council is delighted to work with Ballyhackamore Business Association in delivering this event. It has supported local traders in east Belfast through marketing the event to bring in extra footfall into the area in the run up to Christmas. The council is also in the process of organising Belfast Independent Retail Week in March which will celebrate independent retailers and independent retailing across the city, through a week- long series of workshops, events and promotions.”
Brenda Shankey, Chairman of Ballyhackamore Business Association, said: “A big thank you to all the traders who have finally made this happen this year in Ballyhackamore and for Belfast City Council supporting us at such lengths during this festive retail season.

“Small Independent retailers are important for the growth of the economy. We hope to encourage local people to support local businesses which will create employment and facilitate small businesses to keep them alive during these difficult times,” she added.

Ballyhackamore Business Association will also be distributing a shopper voucher booklet to 20,000 homes in the area with Christmas offers from all traders with the focus being ‘Shop Local this Christmas!’ A number of businesses in the area have won awards this year. Knock Travel scooped the ‘Northern Ireland Travel Agent of the Year 2011’ title and Horatio Todds has picked up several awards.

For further details on Belfast City Council’s support for local business, go to the council website

More information on east Belfast can also be found on the website

Santa & His Reindeer Visit Holywood!

This year’s Holywood Christmas Switch On, taking place on Saturday, 26th November, will include some very special guests, all the way from Lapland – Santa and his reindeer! Santa and his furry friends will be in The Town Centre from 2pm to say hello to everyone and spread some Christmas cheer and if you haven’t already posted your letter bring it along and give it to Santa when you meet him.

A sneak preview of our special guests who’ll be in Holywood on Saturday, 26th November for the Holywood Christmas Switch On. Santa and Scruffy the reindeer will be outside the Library from 2pm to say hello to all the children and will be collecting letters so bring yours along if you haven’t already posted it!

There’s an action packed programme of events taking place outside The Library too, including a performance from The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra (2pm – 3.30pm) and Star Singers Choir (4pm), followed by the grand finale when the lights are switched on by The Mayor, Councillor James McKerrow at 4.30pm.

For an extra special Christmas treat, come along and enjoy the magical atmosphere at The Christmas Market which is taking place in the car park behind The Library. From 11am, over 30 unusual stalls, from local traders, will be selling their Christmas themed wares with plenty of delicious food on offer too.

There are activities taking place inside The Library too where The Library & HDCC are running  an action-packed programme (from 11am) which will include Rhythm and Rhyme for under 4’s, Christmas Storytime, Christmas shopping on the Web and a festive lunchtime piano recital. There are also festive themed classes on offer, including; Christmas Floral Demonstration, Creating Christmas Cards, Yummie Treats Cup Cake Creations and Evening Makeup Makeover. For more information, please contact the library as booking for these events is essential. Or if your children are craft-minded, head down to The Queen’s Leisure Centre (1pm – 3pm) where there’s a host of children’s crafts and face painting on offer.

Commenting on the event, North Down Borough Council’s Tourism Manager; Alison Stobie said: We’re offering a lovely traditional feel to this year’s Christmas celebrations and we’re delighted the way the whole community are backing our efforts. Some come along and enjoy a day of good cheer and lots of Christmas shopping and don’t forget the whole event is free!”

For more info contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069 or visit

Get Ready For Christmas In Bangor!

Bangor town centre is set to sparkle when The Mayor of North Down, Councillor James McKerrow, switches on the Christmas lights on Saturday November 19th.

This FREE event will commence at 5.30pm when crowds will gather in Castle Park in front of The Town Hall to watch the skies above Bangor come alive with a spectacular fireworks display before the Christmas tree lights are ceremoniously switched on.

Commenting on the event, Alison Stobie, Tourism Manager, North Down Borough Council, said, “The switching on of the Bangor Christmas tree lights is the perfect event to make everyone in the family feel like the festive season has arrived, wrap up warmly and come along and enjoy the show.”

She went on to say; “On a more serious note, please make sure to follow all safety instructions on the night. As well as producing an amazing show, safety is our priority at this Christmas Show, so it is extremely important that you obey health & safety rules and co-operate fully with the marshals. Remember also that due to the volume of people it may be necessary to close some roads and the Omniplex cinema and leisure centre should be temporarily accessed from the Gransha Road between 5pm and 6pm.

Town Centre Manager Stephen Dunlop said: “The Switch On is a great event for Bangor, attracting thousands of people into the town every year. Why not take the opportunity to make the most of the festive atmosphere and do some Christmas shopping beforehand and finish off your day with a meal or a drink in one of our many local establishments after the fireworks.”

Also commenting on the event, The Mayor of North Down, Councillor James McKerrow said: “My family and I are really looking forward to the countdown to Christmas in Bangor on November 19th and I am really honoured to be switching on the Christmas lights, see you all there.”

For further information, please phone our Tourist Information Centre on: 028 9127 0069 or visit

NW200 Keeps Time with New Technical Developments for 2012

NW200 Keeps Time with New Technical Developments

Plans are underway to enhance, develop and upgrade timing systems and solutions for next year’s International North West 200 which is set to take place on Saturday 19th May.

Organisers Coleraine & District Motor Club Ltd are working alongside MCUI Chief Time-keeper Richard Agnew and specialist motorsport company Timing Solutions Ltd, who provide  a range of  timing systems to high profile sporting events including British Touring Cars and British Superbike. Timing Solutions chief executive Graeme Lond recently made his first visit to the 8.9 mile North Coast circuit and met with MCUI time-keepers, local representatives of mobile communications outlet Arqiva, as well as BT Northern Ireland, to review current timing mechanisms in place and discuss and analyse further enhancements and improvements.

“Each year we look at different ways to raise our organisational and professional standards at the International North West 200, ensure we keep up to speed with global developments and deliver a world class sporting event to both fans and competitors.” explained technical director Mervyn Whyte MBE. “We were delighted to welcome timing expert Graeme Lond to Northern Ireland and tap into his broad range of skills and experience. The local time-keeping team explored a range of options and developments which we believe will generate an improved service to team managers, riders and spectators.

“Spanning a three year period we aim to introduce a range of upgrades including live feeds into the paddock and pit lane garages enabling us to highlight retirements, race stoppages and other useful information relevant to teams and competitors. We also plan to increase circuit sector timings to provide teams with more precise information on rider times from one course location to another. We will also examine the possibility of electronic speed trap provision. We hope to finalise our range of new solutions and systems and will announce full details early next year.”

Pictured with NW200 technical director Mervyn Whyte (centre) and Graeme Lond (3rd left)from Timing Solutions Ltd are (from left) NW200 Communications Manager, John Crichton and MCUI time-keepers, Richard Agnew, Jeremy Tidy and Walter Marks.

Visit for up to date Race Week information.