Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Province a who's who of A-listers

It's been a star-studded summer for Ulster's people-watchers as some of the biggest names in showbiz have been spotted out and about around the province.



With Northern Ireland's tourist influx at an all-time high, Belfast has also been attracting A-listers from the worlds of music and movies.

Only last week Hollywood superstar Meryl Streep jetted into Belfast to help raise funds for the successor to the Old Museum Arts Centre in the Cathedral Quarter.

The star of The Deer Hunter and The Devil Wears Prada hosted a question and answer session for aspiring young actors at OMAC and later attended a gala black tie fund-raising event at the Harbour Commissioner's Office.

The actress recently made movie history by becoming the most-nominated actress in Academy Award history, with 14 nominations.

Also spotted out in Belfast with her actor husband Matthew Broderick was Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker.

The Hollywood couple, who own a house in Donegal, stayed in the Europa Hotel and enjoyed a meal at Shu restaurant on the Lisburn Road, along with their son James.

A number of well-known actors have been staying in Belfast while filming the Tom Hanks blockbuster City of Ember. Bill Murray, star of Lost In Translation and Groundhog Day, plays the lead role and has been spotted around Belfast, and playing golf and sightseeing.

His co-star, Tim Robbins, is also staying in Belfast and surprised music fans at the Black Box in Belfast on Sunday night, when he took to the stage with local musician Rab McCullough.

Robbins, star of the classic The Shawshank Redemption, is married to another Hollywood A-lister Susan Sarandon. Last month the music-loving pair attended Oxegen outside Dublin, to watch Canadian band Arcade Fire.

It's also been reported that Tom Hanks himself paid a hush-hush visit to Belfast in the last fortnight to meet the cast and crew of City of Ember.

Last week's massive music festival at Ormeau Park also brought the stars to Belfast.

Razorlight flew into the city to headline day one of Tennents ViTal, although there was no sign of American actress Kirsten Dunst, who was dating the band's lead singer Johnny Borrell.

Members of the band later dropped into a Belfast night club for a DJing spot.

The following night Las Vegas indie rockers The Killers arrived in Belfast and booked into the Radisson Hotel.

And Leicester band Kasabian were spotted in the Culloden Hotel, where they were staying during their visit to Belfast to play at ViTal.

Among the other celebrities spotted in Belfast over the summer were Chicago star and television presenter Denise Van Outen, in Belfast to shoot a BBC drama; actors James Nesbitt and Paul Nicholas; and Calum Best, who came to Belfast for a day-long visit and ended up staying for over a week.

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You can communicate effectively about controversial topics like religion, politics and education. When you talk, people listen. Take this opportunity to lobby for changes to an outmoded institution. Making resources more readily available to the public will be a great use of your time. You're tired of seeing only the most privileged members of the community thrive. Promoting a more democratic approach will cause your stature to rise. Don't be surprised if a group asks you to run for office.More