Emmerdale star and bike fan Dominic Brunt is VIP guest at Blackhorse NI Motorcycle Festival

The stage is set for the Blackhorse NI Motorcycle Festival at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in February, when Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt will be among the special guests.

The Cheshire actor plays vet Paddy Kirk on the much-loved ITV soap and the 47-year-old – a huge motorbikes fan – has jumped at the chance to indulge his passion at the three-day motorcycling extravaganza in Lisburn, which takes place from Friday, February 2nd to Sunday, February 4th.

Joining Brunt on the guest list are top racers Lee Johnston, Alastair Seeley, Keith Farmer and John McGuinness plus other, who will be on hand to sign autographs and mingle with the fans.

Ulster Grand Prix ‘Man of the Meeting’ Peter Hickman has also been confirmed in recent days.

The Louth man had a season to remember as Hickman claimed five podiums from five starts at the Isle of Man TT before chalking up a treble of wins at Dundrod.

Hickman has signed with the Smiths Racing team for a second season to contest the British Superbike Championship and the international road races.

New Honda Racing signing Johnston and North West 200 record-breaker Seeley will engage in some early season rivalry when they line up for some fun pit bike racing outside the venue, with Ballymoney’s Seamus Elliott also taking on the challenge.

Organised for the 23rd year by Billy Nutt and his son Marty, the annual exhibition has become a must-see fixture on the motorcycling calendar.

All the latest models from the major manufacturers will be on display, including Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW, KTM and Triumph etc.

Exhibitors include Phillip McCallen Motorcycles, Charles Hurst Motorcycles (BMW, Yamaha Honda), Motoplus Kawasaki (Coleraine), Crossan Motorcycles, GS Motorcycles,Davy’s Motorcycles and HTM Motorcyles. Show-goers will also have the opportunity to snap up the latest merchandise from the Clinton Enterprises stand.

A fantastic line-up of classic machinery will be on show, including Honda’s rare CR93  plus a rare display of race bikes from Eddie Roberts collection..

The feast of entertainment also includes Mattie Griffin’s world-renowned stunt rider, while top trials rider Andrew Perry will demonstrate his incredible skill plus live racing of Pit Bikes and Super Moto bikes on Saturday and Sunday. Opening times are Friday, February 2nd (2pm-10pm) and Saturday and Sunday, February 3rd-4th (10am-5pm). Admission is £12/€12 for adults and £6/€6 Euros for senior citizens. Children under 15 admitted free.

Free car parking is available on-site and three minibuses will be operating a shuttle service to the Eikon Exhibition Centre from Lisburn Rail Centre, also free of charge.

For more details, check out the official Facebook page for the festival @NI Motorcycle Fest or visit www.motorcyclefest.tv. You can also call Nutt Promotions on: 028 70351199 or email: info@nutttravel.com.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are 10 exciting things taking place this week (29 January – 4 February 2018)


  1. Imbolc International Music Festival, Derry~Londonderry, 28 January – 4 February. A celebration of music reflecting the diversity of the contemporary Irish music scene. The festival will showcase cutting edge acts alongside longstanding masters of traditional music. With concerts, workshops, film screenings, community and participatory events and events for children, there is something for everyone.
  2. Snowdrop Walks, Dungannon, 3 – 25 February. Come and see wonderful displays of snowdrops planted by staff and volunteers over the years at The Argory. Enjoy this spectacle at your leisure with a self-guided walk, then relax in the coffee shop for a warm drink or tasty bite.
  3. Vintage, Classic & Sports Car Show, Newcastle, 26-18 January. Filling the Slieve Donard Hotel’s Grand Ballroom will be more than 40 vehicles spanning 60 years of automotive history, all of them lovingly restored and maintained by their local owners.
  4. Oh What A Night – Jersey Guys, Newry, 1 February. Oh What A Night – Shane Nolan and Jersey Guys pay homage to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the Bank Parade, Newry. Celebrating all of the hits by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons with fantastic vocal harmonies and dance moves.
  5. NI Motorcycle Festival 2018, Lisburn, 2 – 4 February. Bringing entertainment for all the family, The NI Motorcycle Festival includes stunt shows, aerial displays, drifting and celebrity guests. Don’t miss out on this exciting motorcycle festival coming to the Balmoral Park, Lisburn.
  6. Gilbert and George: Scapegoating Pictures for Belfast, Belfast, 26 January-22 April. Occupying all three of The MAC’s gallery spaces, this large-scale exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of Gilbert and George’s collaborative practice, which began when they met as students at St Martin’s School of Art, in 1967. Since this time, they have created work collaboratively, declaring themselves to be ‘two people, one artist’.
  7. World Wetlands Day at Castle Espie, Co. Down, 2 February. Experience the sights and sounds of Castle Espie during an exclusive one hour tour of the reserve as we celebrate World Wetlands Day. Tours last approximately one hour and take place at 12.00, 14.00 and 15.00.
  8. Cookery Demonstration with Paula McIntyre, Co. Down, 31 January.  Cookery demonstration with one of Northern Ireland’s leading chefs Paula McIntyre comes to the Millbrook House Hotel, Ballynahinch. Paula hosts the cookery slot on Radio Ulster’s Saturday magazine programme and also writes a weekly recipes column for The Sunday Life Magazine.
  9. Gradam Ceoil TG4 Traditional Music Awards, Belfast, 4 February. Gradam Ceoil TG4 comes to The Waterfront, Belfast, the first time in its 21-year history. The live concert and award ceremony features the best artists in Irish music and song celebrating their talents and achievements. Gradam Ceoil is known as the Oscars of traditional music and the two hour live concert will be broadcast on TG4 and worldwide on TG4.ie.
  10. Dumped Divorcee Support Group, Derry~Londonderry, 29 January – 3 February. The smash hit, critically-acclaimed show ‘The Dumped Divorcee Support Group’, saw the divorcees ride off into the sunset with their new partners to live happily ever after. Right? Wrong. After another major disaster in their love lives, Rosie and Eileen are homeless and living with Maura in her two-bedroom house and the situation is explosive. See this entertaining show as it comes to the Millennium Forum, Derry~Londonderry.



For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit  www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.

Love Local at Comber Farmers’ Market

After taking a break in January, the award winning Comber Farmers’ Market will reopen for the new season on Thursday 1 February from 9.00am – 1.00pm.

The theme of this market is #LoveLocal and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there will be lots of foody gifts to buy for loved ones (or to simply treat yourself!).

Jam and chutney maker, Will Clendinning from ‘The Local’ is a trader at the market and said, “I have been attending Comber Farmers’ Market since it opened in July 2014 and have built up a regular customer base who return every month to buy my jams and chutneys.  I attend a lot of markets around Northern Ireland and Comber Farmers’ Market is one of the best with a fabulous range of top quality food produce made by local people.”

The February market will also welcome new entrepreneur, Margaret Donaldson from Comber who has started a doughnut business called  ‘Dough Naughty’.  Her range will include sweet and savoury doughnuts, sticky buns, bread and butter puddings and sticky toffee puddings.

Alderman Deborah Girvan who helps to run the market on behalf of Comber Regeneration Community Partnership said, “The market is an important outlet for new food producers.  It gives them an opportunity to test their products and helps to create employment in the future.  Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy.  I would encourage people to come along to our award winning market and support our local producers and at the same time buy and enjoy the best food produce in Northern Ireland!”

The market is situated just off Comber Square in the ground of St Marys with car parking available in surrounding public car parks.

Find out more about Comber Farmers’ Market at www.combermarket.co.uk or on the Market’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.



Live music lovers have some real treats lined up at Portico in Portaferry.

The new season kicks off in style on Saturday 3 February with a rare opportunity to hear baritone Sir Thomas Allen, courtesy of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Star of opera houses all over the world, he has sung over 50 roles at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. An acclaimed recitalist he will sing, accompanied by pianist Joseph Middleton, pieces from Schumann, Vaughan Williams and many others.

On Friday 16 February percussionists O Duo whizz around the stage in an exciting family concert performing an invigorating mix of classical music alongside popular classics from TV and film on a huge array of percussion including marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, drum kit, African and Brazilian drums! Supported by Ards Arts, all tickets cost just £5.

The Björn Identity will be raising the roof on Saturday 24 February. Exceeding all expectations of Abba tribute bands, they are widely known for their love of audience participation, Swedish humour, professionalism and commitment to the music of their idols. You will be dancing!

Bringing an exciting programme including Vivaldi, Hummel, Bach and Mozart, the Chamber Philharmonic Europe is performing on Saturday 14 April. With its outstanding reputation and astonishing soloists Cyrill Gussaroff (trumpet) and Michel Gershwin (violin), this promises to be an evening of exceptional chamber music.

And it doesn’t stop there! There’s a host of other great concerts lined up too including barbershop quartet 4 in a Bar, the fabulous Elvis Spectacular Show and theatre The Wonder Tales. More information on any of the above concerts can be found at www.porticoards.com or you can buy tickets in person at The Rock Bakery in Portaferry.

Dumped Divorcee Support Group Rides Again!

Caustic, Sobering and Hilariously Funny! – Brand New Play at Millennium Forum

She’s back!  Irene Melaugh returns to the Millennium Forum next week with the second in her trilogy from the ‘Dumped Divorcee’ stables – ‘The Dumped Divorcee Support Group Rides Again!’ and it’s a scream!

On at the Forum for four nights starting Wednesday, January 31st, the follow-on from the original critically acclaimed show, with a cast that includes some ‘new and outrageous characters’, according to Irene.

‘The Dumped Divorcee Support Group’ saw the divorcees ride off into the sunset with
their new partners to live happily ever after. Right? Wrong!

Part one of the trilogy saw the three childhood friends start another chapter in their lives with new partners.

But Rosie and Eileen are now homeless and now living with Maura in her two bedroomed house and the situation is explosive. Eileen has been de-robed and thrown out of the convent. Rosie has left her man because he was wearing out all her clothes. And Eugene. . . . . well, there’s another story!  Looking forward to the first night, the lady herself said this one will have everything and even a Roger will make an appearance!

“I really had a ball writing The Dumped Divorcee Support Group Rides Again” said Irene. “It’s a story that more and more people can identify with. A story of divorce, of being thrown back out there into the jungle of dating among the wild and idiotic characters these less than lucky women attract.”

“Yes, the Three Degrees – Maura, Rosie, Eileen and the increasingly desperate Eugene decide to give The Dumped Divorcee Support Group one more try. It couldn’t be any worse than the first disaster. Could it?’’ laughs Irene.

In a word, yes! The cow-clapped Roger-Over-And-Out reappears from Donegal and attempts to sweep Maura off her feet. Eileen’s ex-husband Jack has decided that even though he’s had a sex change and is now Jacklyn, he wants Eileen back!

As for Rosie, she lives in the hope that just one normal man will find his way to the group.

So, for a great night’s craic and side-splitting comedy why not come along to the Millennium Forum, Wednesday-Saturday, 31st Jan.-3rd February.

The Dumped Divorcee Support Group Rides Again performs at the Millennium Forum from Wed 31st Jan to Sat 3rd February. Tickets are now on sale from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.

Links between Heaney and Burns explored in new series of events at Seamus Heaney HomePlace

As many celebrate the poetry of Robert Burns this week during Burns Night, Seamus Heaney HomePlace are preparing for ‘Pronounced in the Place’ (Friday 16th – Sunday 25th February), a series of events inspired by the essay by Seamus Heaney on Burns’s poetry, including conversation with John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory’s Girl), and music from Elsafty, Armstrong and Browne and Scottish songstress, Eddi Reader.

The essay celebrates Seamus Heaney’s love for the poetry of Robert Burns, his belief in the power of words and poetry to connect rather than divide and the joy of language found in Ulster Scots, Gaelic and the everyday colloquial phrases of Ulster.

Pronounced in the Place is supported by The Executive Office through District Council Good Relations Programme supported by Mid Ulster District Council.

The series of events kicks off on Friday 16th February with ‘Collapsing The Distance’ a discussion panel that will explore the tradition, language and culture of Ulster Scots and how it relates to Heaney’s arguments in Burns’s Art Speech. The panel comprises Damian Smyth, Matthew Warwick, Frank Ferguson, Nelson McCausland, Carol Baraniuk and John Erskine.

No celebration of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Burns Art Speech’ would be complete without Robert Crawford. A friend of Heaney’s, Crawford is Burns’s biographer and editor of the original collection in which that essay appeared. His talk on Saturday 17th February will provide new ways of seeing, of hearing and of feeling Burns’s poetry.

So, Sing On With Eddi Reader (SOLD OUT) will showcase her 2013 album ‘Sings the Songs of Robert Burns’ on Saturday 17th February, in what promises to be a highlight of the mini-festival!

A growing interest in the life and work of Ian Cochrane suggests a revival of his reputation as a writer of note. Originally from Cullybackey, County Antrim, Cochrane’s novels explored village life in Northern Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s, using dark humour and Ulster Scots language to create a strong sense of people and place. ‘Cullybackey Gothic: An Ian Cochrane Revival’ (Thursday 22nd February) includes the launch of a new edition of Cochrane’s novel ‘F for Ferg’.

Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (c.1680-c.1756) was a Gaelic lyricist, songmaker and poet with firm connections to the Bréifne/ Fermanagh area but who ranged all over Ulster. Native of Benburb, Dr. Charles Dillon’s lecture on Saturday 24th February will examine the work of Cathal Buí and establish his place in the vibrant legacy of Gaelic poetry and song of south Ulster in the period.

Elsafty, Armstrong & Browne will provide a vibrant evening of music and song in the penultimate event in the series on Saturday 24th February as they evoke the unique sound of early Ireland, combining the unmistakable voice of Róisín Elsafty, one of our finest sean-nós singers, with the hauntingly beautiful sound of the medieval Irish harp, played by Ireland’s foremost historical harper, Siobhán Armstrong, woven together with Ronan Browne’s flutes, whistles and 170-year-old pipes.

Scottish actor and novelist, John Gordon Sinclair is no stranger to success. His breakout role as Gregory in the 1981 film Gregory’s Girl made him a household name. Now, with three novels under his belt, he is as respected for his writing as he is for his performing.

John has made no secret of his love for Robert Burns and has recorded several of his poems for the BBC. This entertaining event on Sunday 25th February to close the programme will see John chat to Hugh Odling-Smee about his writing, acting and love of the spoken and written word.

For further information and to book for any of the events, visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com or call Box Office on 028 7938 7444.


Book your chapter for a unique on-stage reading adventure!

An exciting on-stage reading adventure is coming to Limavady.

Over the course of one day, ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’, a classic of modern American literature, will be presented chapter by chapter in a unique initiative called ‘Book Your Chapter!’

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, with support from Libraries NI, is seeking 31 individuals or groups to present each of the 31 chapters on stage – you can read it, act it, dance it, put it to music, film it, puppet it or present it in another language.

Readers, performers, local personalities, community groups and young people are invited to bid to present their favourite chapter. Whatever your age, language or medium, we want ideas big and small.

The Harper Lee novel, first published in 1960, has appealed to readers for generations thanks to its well-loved characters Scout and Atticus, Jem and Tom Robinson and enduring themes of justice and childhood, racism and disability that will resonate with many different people.

Information on the 31 chapters and the form to bid for your favourite chapter, is available through Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre and Libraries NI website.

Forms can be returned at any time up to Friday 2nd February.

A wide range of different ideas will be presented to audiences on Wednesday 21st March – bringing the book to life on stage in an epic and memorable way.

For more information please contact Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre on 028 7776 0650, email edel.murphy@rvacc.co.uk or to download an application form go to www.roevalleyarts.com




Tickets For Her Award-Winning and Record-Setting Show Go On Sale Saturday 27 January at 9am

Go To https://www.britneyspears.com/

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 23, 2018) – Legendary pop icon Britney Spears has announced her exclusive last time ever, limited tour of her award-winning and record-breaking show, “Britney: Piece of Me.”

For the first and only time, “Britney: Piece of Me” will visit Dublin’s 3Arena on 20 August for fans that were not able to see the show in Las Vegas.

This tour follows Britney’s record-breaking, four-year headlining residency, “Britney: Piece of Me” at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, where Britney received rave reviews from both critics and fans alike since opening in Dec. 2013.  As the first contemporary superstar resident in the city, Britney and Caesars Entertainment pioneered the groundbreaking paradigm shift and revitalized the modern era of entertainment in Las Vegas in Planet Hollywood’s world-class theater. With over 250 shows, the record-setting residency was sold out on a regular basis, generating over $140 million gross revenue and selling nearly 1 million tickets.

“Britney: Piece of Me” was voted the “Best Resident Performer,” “Best Production Show,” “Best Bachelorette Party” and “Best Bachelor Party” by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  Hollywood’s biggest names, such as; Beyoncé, Jay Z, Lady Gaga, Anna Kendrick, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus, Kirsten Dunst, Chloë Grace Moretz, Calvin Harris, Sia, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and Steven Tyler have all attended “Piece of Me.”

This exclusive US East Coast and Europe tour is the last time anybody will see the show.  Initial demand for the “Britney: Piece of Me” tour, which will visit intimate venues on the US East Coast to really capture the look and feel of the Las Vegas show, is overwhelming, with only limited tickets available.  Elizabeth Arden, the exclusive global licensee of the award-winning Britney Spears fragrances since 2004, will be one of the sponsors of the “Britney: Piece of Me” tour.  Pepsi is a proud partner of the US East Coast “Piece of Me” tour, continuing a relationship with Britney that has lasted for more than 15 years.

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon Britney Spears is one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in pop history with nearly 150 million records worldwide. In the U.S. alone, she has sold more than 70 million albums, singles and songs, according to Nielsen Music. Born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana, Spears became a household name as a teenager when she released her first single “…Baby One More Time,” a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash and international hit that broke sales records with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide and is currently 14x Platinum in the U.S. Her musical career boasts countless awards and accolades, including six Billboard Music Awards and Billboard’s Millennium Award, which recognizes outstanding career achievements and influence in the music industry as well as an American Music Award and the 2011 MTV Video Vanguard Award. So far, Spears has earned a total of six No.1-debuting albums on the Billboard 200 chart and 22 top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 — four of which went to No. 1. Spears has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards and won for Best Dance Recording in 2005.

Her cutting-edge pop concert Las Vegas residency, “Britney: Piece of Me,” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino has been voted “Best Show in Las Vegas” and “Best Bachelorette Show in Las Vegas.”  Spears also has been creating fragrances for over ten years, and currently has over 20 fragrances available in over 85 countries around the world.


Tickets from €69.50 including booking and facility fees go on sale this Saturday at 9am


Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI


This Friday at the Space Theatre Bangor, Celtic Soul team up with the Arco String Quartet to deliver a stunning reminiscence of Van Morrison’s ‘It’s too Late to Stop Now’.  It’s often considered the greatest live concert recording ever. For the tour Van added additional musicians, including strings, to form the Caledonia Soul Orchestra.


New iPad for Christmas? This Saturday at the Market Place Theatre, a workshop will lead you through the fundamentals, and the apps you’ll need to make the most of it. They will cover setting up your account, as well as your email, security and general maintenance of your iPad. Learn how to use your iPad camera, and edit and organise photos as well as how to use iPad for everyday tasks, including the Dropbox, Evernote, Calendar, Notes and Reminder apps.


The Rock’N’Roll Years and Dance Hall Days’ Show is back with a brand new show featuring George Jones, Clubsound and four wonderful singers at the Ardhowen Theatre Enniskillen this Saturday 27th January at 8.00pm.  Combining evocative love ballads with the greatest Rock‘n’Roll hit songs of the era, this show will carry the audience back to a time when dance halls were full and the youngsters danced, jived and rocked to the Four Seasons, the Shadows, Neil Sedaka, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline, Elvis and much, much more!


Little Red Riding Hood and the Silly Billy Wolf comes to the Alley Theatre Strabane this Saturday 27th January. This colourful, fast-paced all singing and dancing show is a fun and gentle re-telling of the classic fairy-tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Children with have great fun joining in on the action, singing songs and playing  games and meeting some amazing characters in this original show, written especially for this touring spectacular. With beautiful costumes, stunning stage sets and hilarious characters, making this a fun-packed show not to be missed!


Join the Everglades Hotel for an amazing night of music and dance with all the best known songs from Elvis starring Jim Brown and his band this Saturday evening. Why not make a night of it and book in for a pre-show dinner or even stay overnight on one of the “Heartbreak Hotel” packages which includes an overnight stay, tickets to the show, and breakfast the next day.  Tickets are available on Ticketmaster or at the Hotel Reception Desk, and the “Heartbreak Hotel” packages are available on line on www.hastingshotels.com or telephone 02890 471066.  Doors open from 7.30pm and show begins from 8.45 pm


Jake O’Kane, Northern Ireland’s top comic and star of the BBC panel show ‘The Blame Game’, is back with a brand new show entitled ‘Still Sittin’ on the Fence’ at the Braid Arts Centre Ballymena this Thursday 25th January.  In his traditional end-of-year review show, Jake will be casting a satirical eye over the preceding twelve months, combining stories and pictures from the Irish News with the madness of the Internet to debunk the great, the not so great, and himself.


The cream of Northern Irelands non-professional theatre companies compete in the final of the NI One Act Finals this Saturday and will have the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in the British Finals. Taking place for one night only at the Belvoir Players Studio from 7.30pm.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Macbeth – That Scottish Play!

Benjamin Gould brings his sparkling comic wit to Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Theatre at The Mill on Thursday 1 February.


Seamlessly fusing modern comedy and drama with classical verse, this adaptation brings new life, energy and insight to the classic play. This is ‘Macbeth’ like you’ve never seen it – physical, guttural and intelligent – full of energy, comedy and all of the darkness and death that keeps audiences coming back to Shakespeare’s classic.

Following on from our sell-out production ‘Shakespeare’s Women’, Commedia of Errors Theatre Company return, doing what they do best. ‘That Scottish Play’ is a brand-new show adapted, directed and performed by Benjamin Gould and features local actors Rosie McClelland and Conor Hinds. Three performers play all of the characters of the original Shakespeare play. This adaptation has been given a complete Commedia dell’Arte makeover; keeping all of its truth and tragedy and combining it with our trademark physical theatre, slapstick comedy and stunning mask play.

The production is a perfect introduction to both Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte, and is perfect for people new to the genre, whilst offering new insights to old hands.