Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

25 most eligible single females in Northern Ireland

25: Lisa Miller (39)
Businesswoman
Belfast businesswoman Lisa Miller opened her salon, Beauty Culture, 10 years ago and is currently based on the Upper Newtownards Road. An award-winning beauty therapist, the bubbly blonde is a former president of the Irish Beauty Professionals Association and sat on the judging panel of the IBPA Beauty Awards for five years. Divorcee Lisa — who says she married too young — is currently single and enjoys travelling and scuba diving in her spare time. She’d love to meet her Mr Right and is a familiar face on the Belfast party circuit.
24: Lorna McSloy (40)
Freelance make-up artist
Lovely Lorna is an expert on looking good. As a full-time make-up artist, she has worked on numerous fashion shoots for magazines such as FHM and has also been drafted in to help out on television dramas and movies like Messiah and Misconception. Among the stars she has made up are Denise Van Outen, Cecelia Ahern, Paul Nichols and Tom Ellis. A former beauty therapist who retrained as a make-up artist, she likes tall men with a sharp sense of dress and her ideal date would be George Clooney or Brad Pitt.
Citybeat presenter Emma Fitzpatrick

22: Grainne McGarvey (31)
PR Execuitve
Belfast ‘It’ girl and fashionista Grainne McGarvey runs her own public relations company, Pulse PR. A regular contributor to magazines such as Ulster Tatler and Business Month, the attractive brunette also finds time to guest present for Belfast Telegraph TV. Potential boyfriends beware — she’s into body combat! The fitness fanatic also enjoys sun and ski breaks and sipping cocktails in the Merchant Hotel.

21: Jenny Curran (23)
Model
This Portadown beauty is one of Northern Ireland’s top models. She has been on Alison Campbell’s books for five years and is one of her most sought-after girls. Blonde-haired and blue-eyed, the striking 23-year-old is often compared to Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz. Jenny has recently completed a HND in broadcast journalism and works for community radio station Blast in Belfast. She hopes to pursue a career in the media and with her good looks and confidence is certain to go far. Jenny admits she has an eye for the older man and cites football pundit Alan Hansen and singer Lionel Richie as her perfect dates. Maureen Coleman says: “Jenny was in a long-term relationship for a few years but is single again. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s snapped up again. “She’s gorgeous looking and a great model as well.”
20: Nuala McKeever (46)
Comedienne/actress
She’s Northern Ireland’s queen of comedy and star of stage and the small screen. Nuala McKeever began her career behind the camera at the BBC, but her wicked sense of humour soon saw her join the Hole In The Wall Gang, appearing in the popular |sitcom Give My Head Peace. A keen impersonator, she soon landed her own television show. More recently she has taken to the stage, starring in last year’s |Theatre at the Mill production of Sweeney Todd. This year she’s back at the Newtownabbey venue, |starring in Christmas Eve Can Kill You. A big Paul Newman fan, the Belfast Telegraph columnist likes a man who’s “not too groomed” — and with a good sense of humour!
19: Bronagh Waugh (28)
Actress
She’s best known for her Hollyoaks role as the mouthy, man-eater Cheryl Brady. Coleraine actress Bronagh Waugh first appeared in the Channel 4 soap last year and has become one of the show’s best-loved characters. A brilliant comedy actress, the bubbly blonde with a penchant for eye-catching outfits has many other talents, including writing. Bronagh has written a sketch show for the BBC, which has since been put on the back-burner while she concentrates on her acting career. The size 10 actress reckons she doesn’t fit the normal Hollyoaks mould of perfection, but we think Ms Waugh is wonderful.
18: Holly Harrison (26)
Boutique owner
Fashionista Holly Harrison runs the family boutique on Belfast’s upmarket Lisburn Road. The 26-year-old Portrush girl studied fashion management at London College of Fashion before moving to Glasgow to run a Benetton store. Her trendy boutique is a Pandora’s Box of designer delights and any man hoping to catch her eye would need to know a thing or two about looking good. Her job takes her travelling a lot but in her free time she likes to work out with a personal trainer.
17: Tracey Hall (43)
Model boss
Tracey is one of the best known faces in Northern Ireland fashion, running model agency Style Academy for the past 20 years and producing award-winning fashion shows. A part-time model while still at school, Tracey got |bitten by the bug and set aside her plans to become a teacher, setting up her own agency instead. For around 16 years she was in a long-term relationship but these days is single. Tracey’s perfect man would be tall, dark and very handsome — like actor Clive Owen — and able to |handle the amount of time that she spends in the company of beautiful men.
16: Niamh Perry (20)
Actress/singer
Niamh first came to the public’s attention when she won a place in the BBC talent search show I’d Do Anything. The pretty brunette, who comes from Bangor, made it through to week eight of the programme and managed to catch the eye of |Andrew Lloyd Webber. Not long after the show, Niamh was snapped up to play the lead role in Mamma Mia at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. Then earlier this year she won a part in Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies. Currently dating an actor, Niamh’s ideal man is someone who understands her commitment to the musical industry. She lives in London, where she shares a flat with I’d Do Anything contender Samantha Barks, but likes nothing more than getting back home to Bangor to see her family and friends. Men’s stylist Jason Shankey says: “Niamh flew the flag for Northern Ireland on I’d Do |Anything, along with Rachel Tucker, and despite being a teenager at the time, was very professional and |mature. She’s now a West End star with a very bright future and is a very pretty girl as well.”
15. Aideen Gilmore (34)
Human Rights Lawyer
High-flying human rights lawyer Aideen Gilmore is the deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice. After graduating in government and law, the 34-year-old studied administrative legal studies before taking up her post at CAJ. Her job is demanding and takes her all over the world. She's just returned from the States, where she was testifying at the US Congress. This girl knows how to stand her ground — so there's no point picking an argument. In her spare time she likes to ski and her perfect man is Colin Firth.
14. Sarah Weir (30)
PR Accounts Executive
Rugby-loving PR girl Sarah Weir has worked for Belmont Road firm JPR for six years and counts among her clients, Flybe and the International North West 200. A fun-loving party girl, Sarah loves to relax by watching grown men get down and dirty. When she's not in the office, she is a regular fixture at local rugby matches and her ideal man is, not surprisingly, hunky Irish star of the sport Rob Kearney.
13. Alana Kerr (27)
Actress
Gorgeous Alana combines brains and beauty. The Belfast girl studied Drama and English at Trinity University, Dublin, and has since gone on to play a variety of stage roles, including the parts of several female leads in the recent smash hit musical about the life of George Best, Dancing Shoes. A puppeteer on Sesame Tree, the 27-year-old also co-presented UTV's music show Live at the Limelight and has starred in a number of local panto productions, including Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. Alana who is currently living in London, says that her ideal man is pop star Shane Ward.
12. Laure James (25)
Magazine Editor
For many men lovely Laure must be the perfect girl — she's beautiful, clever... and can explain the off-side rule. The tri-lingual speaking Manchester City fan, who was born in France but lives in Belfast — is editor of NI Football, the IFA's magazine and is also match reporter for Radio Ulster's Sportsound. A member of the Brookvilla FC coaching team, Laure sings top soprano and plays classical guitar and viola. She admires local footballers Aaron Hughes and Philip Matthews and the man she'd most like to tackle is Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper in the hit US show Mad Men.
11. Katie Larmour (27)
Model/TV Presenter
Stunner Katie is one of Northern Ireland's top models and is in the running for FHMs Holiday Honeys competition. And judging by her sexy bikini shot, it's not difficult to see why.
Already signed to ACA, Katie has recently been snapped up by Andrea Roche's new modelling agency in Dublin, where she has also recently landed a part-time job as a contributor presenter on RTE2's The Rumour Room.
Speaking of rumours, the Belfast lass was romantically linked with Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers but these days has a boyfriend closer to home.
Yes, we know she is taken — but the ring's not on her finger yet.
Cathy Martin says: "Katie is young, gorgeous and full of life. She has travelled the world so she has plenty of interesting experiences to talk about and she has a very exciting career ahead of her."
SL Showbiz - IN! Glamour Awards - It's Glamour Time for Northern IrelandPic supplied by CMPRMiss NI Lori Moore
9. Keira Gormley (29)
Model
From Belfast to Burberry, Keira Gormley has come a long way since she was first discovered through Sunday Life's Cover Girl competition. The striking, statuesque model joined the Belfast-based agency Style Academy and was on its books for five years before catching the eye of world-famous fashion photographer Mario Testino. These days she works for leading agency Storm in London and Marilyn in New York, flitting between the two cities. Northern Ireland's very own supermodel has worked for the likes of Gaultier, Dior and Vivienne Westwood and was the face of MAC cosmetics in its Rose Romance campaign.
8. Kathy Kiera Clarke (39)
Actress
Star of stage and screen, Belfast's Kathy Kiera Clarke is one of Northern Ireland's hardest working actresses. The dark-haired, doe-eyed beauty can turn her hand to a variety of roles, from comedy to tragedy. Nominated for an Irish Film and Television award for her role in the critically-acclaimed Bloody Sunday, which also starred James Nesbitt, the London-based actress was recently back home to appear in the satirical play Stormont at the Theatre at the Mill in Newtownabbey. She has also starred in Pulling Moves and Silent Witness and in several movies such as Cherrybomb and The Most Fertile Man In Ireland.
7. Elaine Andrews (30)
Online Services Manager
This high-flying web designer comes from Armagh but is currently living in London. Elaine began her career working in various design agencies in Belfast, and was responsible for helping many start-up companies create their own websites through the Go For It programme. These days she specialises in fashion retail web design, overseeing Tesco's online fashion site. Photogenic and fun-loving, she enjoys browsing around London's markets in her spare time, walking and live music.
6. Joanne Salley (33)
Teacher
Combining brains and beauty, Dungannon girl Joanne Salley is a class act. A former Miss Northern Ireland and Cambridge University graduate, the gorgeous blonde went on to become a different kind of 'Miss', when she secured an art teacher's post at the prestigious Harrow School.
She took time out from teaching for a while, working for Comic Relief does Fame Academy and as a researcher for the BBC's Hard Sell. However, she missed the buzz of the classroom and took up a post at Merchant Taylor's School in Northwood.
Just this year she returned to Harrow to resume her teaching career there.
A keen polo player and marathon runner, Joanne dated English rugby star Matt Dawson for six years, appearing with him in a Hello! spread. But the couple split two years ago.
Since then Joanne has been concentrating on her art and has won commissions to paint murals in restaurants and hotels.
Cathy Martin says: "Joanne is a great ambassador for Northern Ireland. She is clever, talented, beautiful and a really lovely girl."
5. Seainin Brennan (34)
Actress
With a Masters degree in European political administration to her name and a prestigious internship at the Secretariat General of the European Commission in Brussels, this Belfast actress is so much more than a pretty face. Professionally trained at Guildford in London, Seainin is a prolific actress and has starred in numerous stage productions including Owen McCafferty's Scenes From The Big Picture and in the world premiere by Frank McGuinness of Ibsen's Ghosts. An award-winning and highly acclaimed thespian, the 34-year-old brunette has just finished a sell-out run of Death Of A Salesman at the Gate Theatre in Dublin and will star in RTE's The Sisters next year. A truly talented star, single Seainin also has a big heart and last year organised the star-studded White Sapphire Ball in Belfast, raising £72,000 for the Northern Ireland Hospice. A very determined lady, she even managed to persuade superstars Madonna and Sir Elton John to donate to her exclusive charity auction.
4. Zoe Salmon (30)
TV Presenter
Bangor babe Zoe Salmon is a qualified solicitor who shunned the court room for a career in telly. A former Miss Northern Ireland, the bubbly blonde became a household name when she landed a post as a Blue Peter presenter in 2004. Not long after her debut she famously claimed she'd try anything once — and went on to become the popular BBC show's daredevil, walking on fire, F1 racing and being strapped to the outside of a plane. She also took part in 2007's Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and was fifth celebrity to be voted out. After quitting Blue Peter a few years later, she took part in the the 2009 series of Dancing On Ice, reaching the quarter-finals. Currently presenting Channel 5's dating show Love Bus, Zoe is also taking part in a new BBC documentary about so-called healthy food brands. Former partners include ex-Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy and DJ Greg Burns, but the FHM pin-up is single at the moment. Model boss Alison Campbell says: "Zoe is definitely the most successful of all the Miss Northern Irelands. A law graduate, she has brains and beauty and is a fun-loving party girl as well. She's recently said that she's at the age now to settle down, so guys, take heed, and don't let this Salmon off the hook."
3. Christine Bleakley (31) TV Presenter Yes, we know, we know, she's dating footballer Frank Lampard but we couldn't show our Christine the red card. We've kept her onside because she's not engaged — just yet. And the Newtownards woman ticks all the boxes. Beautiful, talented, successful, wealthy, the Daybreak presenter has been taking some stick of late over falling viewing figures, but we're confident the breakfast show will start to pick up after its initial teething problems. A former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, Christine is the consummate professional and she does her bit for charity too. Who could forget her cross-channel water-ski for Sport Relief — and the girl doesn't even swim! Her exes include hunky ice hockey star Curt Bowen, Belfast businessman Mark Beirne and Dublin restaurateur Christian Stokes, to whom she was engaged. We' re sure it won't be long before Lamps pops the question, but in the meantime we're claiming her for our list.
2. Lisa Harrison (30)
Publisher
The daughter of wealthy businessman and Ticketmaster tycoon Noel Harrison, lovely Lisa has forged ahead in her own publishing career, starting up Northern Ireland's glossy society magazine In! A close friend of the stars, Belfast's number one It girl hosts the Glamour awards each year attended by Northern Ireland's beautiful people. Although she lives in Belfast now, Lisa used to be a regular fixctre on the Dublin party scene when she was engaged to AI Ireland's owner and wealthy boy-about-town Mark Kershaw. Lisa also dated dapper Dublin entrepreneur Rob McNaughtan, but these days is single. The blonde turned 30 this year and hosted a intimate celebration on the roof top of the Merchant Hotel. Cathy Martin says: "Lisa is a great contender for our list. She looks lovely, is fantastic in company and, in a good way, she never settles for anything but the best, be that in work or in her social and personal life."
1. Melanie Nocher
Olympic swimmer
We wanted someone who was successful, glamorous and talented — someone who could be a role model in her field. And the woman we decided best ticks all the boxes is Olympic swimmer Melanie Nocher. She may not be as well-known as some of the actresses, models or presenters on our list, but we think Melanie is one to watch. Tall, striking looking, intelligent and at the top of her game, the 21-year-old certainly knows how to make a splash. When told of her success, Melanie said she was “very flattered and surprised”. “It’s not often a sportswoman wins something like this and I’m delighted that it has put the spotlight on swimming.” The Co Down swimmer took up her sport at the age of nine in her local club New Northern, winning her first Ulster championship medal at just 12. One year later she was Irish Open champion in the 200m backstroke. In 2003 she attended her first international swimming competition and in 2008 represented Ireland at the Beijing Olympics. Her goal is to make the Olympics in London in 2012. Melanie’s ideal man is former footballer and model Freddie Llungberg.

The Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with PR boss Cathy Martin, model agent Alison Campbell and male stylist Jason Shankey to compile a list of Northern Ireland’s most eligible female singletons.

>>Click 'More Pictures' to launch Top 25 gallery

What the panel said about our winners

Alison Campbell

Model agent

We think our list had a good mix of contenders and because everyone on the panel comes from different backgrounds we all brought something different to the table. Melanie is an inspirational and dedicated young woman and Graeme is a sports idol.

Cathy Martin

Public relations boss

We had quite a bit of fun mulling over all the names. It was a mixture of suggestions from friends and family as well as our own thoughts, but it wasn’t easy — we didn’t always agree and discussions got quite heated at times as we had different views on what made a person eligible. However, it was all very light-hearted in the end, and we’d hope that is the spirit in which the readers take it. I certainly had a few ‘what if..?’ moments!

Jason Shankey

Grooming expert

When we started putting the list together we’d no idea how much interest it would provoke. It just goes to show that there are plenty of attractive, interesting, successful singletons out there.

Maureen Coleman

Showbiz correspondent

Drawing up our singletons list was pretty challenging but we’re happy with the outcome. Graeme and Melanie are worthy winners — but we unearthed some great wee gems in people like pharmacist Peter McKee and magazine editor Laure James.

Related: 25 most eligible males

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