Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

25 most eligible single males in Northern Ireland

25: Liam McKenna (29)
Tv presenter
Lovely Liam began his showbiz career in the pop band Six alongside a certain Nadine Coyle (pre-Girls Aloud). When Six disbanded the Tyrone hottie moved to Dublin where he landed a job on Irish digital music channel Bubble Hits, regularly travelling to LA to interview stars like 50 Cent and The Pussycat Dolls. The 29-year-old is Louis Walsh’s right-hand man behind the scenes on The X Factor and is also tour manager for Jedward — but we won’t hold that against him.
24: David O'Reilly (31)
Tv presenter and DJ
He’s the cool, Converse-trainer wearing presenter who knows a thing or two about music. Newcastle-born David, better known as Rigsy to his friends, is the host of Radio Ulster’s award-winning music show Across The Line and co-presenter of the television programme of the same name. He also has a regular spot as DJ at the Stiff Kitten nightclub in Belfast, where he has picked up a very loyal — but mostly female — following.
Neil Hannon - Divine Comedy - singer
22: Hugh Black (48)
General manager, Victoria Square
Man about town Hugh has been at the helm of the fashionable Victoria Square shopping centre since it opened in 2008. The divorced father-of-two may spend much of his time under the dome at the flagship mall but in his spare time he likes to escape to the great outdoors to indulge in some caving and canoeing. He has dated a number of former Miss UKs, including Lucy Evangelista and Gayle Williamson
IN Glamour Awards 2009, Picture by Darren Kidd.Stephen Hagan
20: Richard Dunwoody (46)
Retired jockey
Three-times Champion Jockey, Dunwoody is one of the UK’s most successful riders. We know he has an eye for the fillies and enjoys a bit of horseplay but he’s also a caring, sharing kind of bloke who is patron of a number of charities. At 46 he’s still in fine fettle, but don’t expect any nifty footwork from this retired jockey — he practically fell at the first hurdle on Strictly Come Dancing last year with his dance partner Lilia Kopylova.
STEPHEN NOLAN
18: Hal Catherwood (41)
Stockbroker
Prince William-lookalike Hal runs a hugely successful stockbroking company with several friends. The brother of ITN journalist Andrea Catherwood and the son of Romper Room’s Miss Adrienne, Holywood’s Hal is a keen motorsport enthusiast — but this handsome race ace is in no rush to settle down just yet.
11/10/10 Mandatory Credit Darren Kidd/Presseye.comEURO 2012, Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland training session at the Faroe Islands National Football Stadium, Torsvollur, Torshavn. Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty
16: Ciaran McMenamin (35)
Actor
Enniskillen man Ciaran is one of Northern Ireland’s most prolific young actors, having starred in a string of television dramas such as Agatha Christie’s Marple, Silent Witness, Jericho and Messiah. He gained a BA in acting from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1998 and was the recipient of the Kenneth Branagh Renaissance Award and the Gold Medal RSAMD. Among his early television appearances were The Young Person’s Guide To Becoming a Rock Star and BBC Northern Ireland’s Pulling Moves. He is about to take over the lead role in ITV prime-time show Primeval. Although he lives in south London, he is a regular visitor back home to Fermanagh, where he likes to relax with a spot of fishing. And we reckon Ciaran is the perfect catch — charming, fun-loving, handsome and talented. Alison Campbell says: “Ciaran is one of the most talented actors to emerge from Northern Ireland and it’s great that he still spends a lot of his free time in Co Fermanagh. “Ciaran’s great craic and a lovely guy and definitely deserves his place on our list.”
15. Peter Gilroy (41)
Manicurist to the stars
From maitre d' to manicurist, Peter Gilroy is a multi-talented man-about-town. After working in the hospitality industry for many years, where he was a well-known face in Deane's and Christies, he headed back to college to study beauty therapy and set up his own business, Peter Gilroy Nails. He's often the first port of call for any visiting celebrities attending glamorous bashes in Belfast and he has looked after the talons of Christine Bleakley, model Caprice and singer Samantha Mumba. A keen amateur dramatics enthusiast, this dedicated follower of fashion has twice been voted Northern Ireland's Most Stylish Man.
14. Stuart McQuitty (34)
Tennis Coach
Suave Stuart runs his own tennis coaching business at the Downshire club in Hillsborough, the most successful junior club in Ulster. But when he's not serving up aces he also presents his own daily radio show on BFBS Lisburn and is a commentator for Cage Contenders on Setanta Sports. Last year he made the semi-finals of an all-Ireland show to find a new presenter for Irish entertainment programme Xpose and has also hosted Miss Ireland and the Elite Model Search. Currently single, he's hoping to net himself a nice, sporty girlfriend for a game of love-all. Tennis anyone?
13. Mark Beirne (37)
Entrepreneur
When it comes to the hospitality trade, Mark is the man with the Midas touch. At the age of 24 he bought Magennis's pub in Belfast and turned it into a leading hotspot, before going on to open one of the city's top nightclubs Milk. His current project is Filthy McNasty's on the Dublin Road. The Belfast businessman dated TV presenter Christine Bleakley for several years and was engaged to former Miss Northern Ireland Gayle Williamson, but is currently single.
12. David Hanna (34)
Personal Trainer
Hunky Hanna is an all-round sportsman. He threw the javelin for Britain, has boxed at international level and has worked as a personal trainer for five years, helping to motivate the likes of restaurateur Michael Deane and his wife Kate Smith and the BBC's Jo Scott. With his buff physique and movie star smile, the 34-year-old fitness fanatic can whip us into shape any time.
11. Peter McKee (31)
Pharmacist
Tall, dark and handsome, 31-year-old Peter McKee is the perfect tonic to beat the winter blues. The 6ft 1ins Hillsborough man, who has worked at the Mater Hospital, Belfast for five years, is a keen sportsman and enjoys snow-boarding, football, rugby and golf, in his spare time.
He likes a wicked sense of humour in a potential partner and his ideal woman is actress Rachel Bilson.
We think we'd have great chemistry with this fine-looking pharmacist and we'd never forget to take our medicine.
Maureen Coleman says: "As many of our contenders are in the public eye we were delighted to discover someone in a great professional job and very good looking like Peter. He's a lovely guy as well and a very worthy contender for our top 15."
10. Colin Murray (33)
Radio DJ/Presenter
Quirky Colin is a man with many interests. A self-confessed music nerd, who maintains his links with Radio Ulster, presenting a Friday night show for the station from his London home, he is a massive sporting fan as well and is currently face of Match Of The Day 2 as well as presenting Five Live's Fighting Talk. Sure, the Dundonald man might drag us along to a football or a darts match on a date, but we wouldn't mind — he's got enough Irish charm and humour to keep us well entertained. Definitely our man of the match.
9. Gerard McCarthy (29)
Actor
The former Hollyoaks hunk swapped soapland for Shakespeare earlier this year when he left behind student life in the fictional Channel 4 village to join the cast of the Merry Wives Of Windsor at the world-famous Globe Theatre in London. The Belfast man — who can make a codpiece look sexy — has dated a string of high-profile beauties including ex co-star Lou Batley and television presenter Zoe Salmon, but is currently single and looking for love. Earlier this year Gerard, who played controversial cross-dresser Kris Fisher, took part in a naked photo shoot for Cosmopolitan's Everyman campaign. The down-to-earth star, who won the Fate Award for Best Media Personality this year, is a regular visitor home to Belfast.
8. Patrick Kielty (39)
Comedian/TV Presenter
We all love a man with a good sense of humour and Co Down man Paddy can certainly make us laugh. His stand-up career began at the Empire pub in Belfast, where his comedy routines went down a storm. Television then beckoned for the funny man, who has presented numerous shows including Patrick Kielty Almost Live, Love Island, Fame Academy, and Comic Relief. Tall, blond and handsome, he dated Irish TV host Amanda Byram for four years and has been romantically linked with a string of beauties. We hear he's dating again, but he's keeping schtum about her identity.
7. Eddie Irvine (46)
Former Formula One Driver
This former Formula One star, who likes to live his life in the fast lane, is a millionaire who regularly appears on the Sunday Times Rich List. The owner of up to 40 properties around the world, Irvine is often seen accompanied by lovely ladies. The Conlig charmer is the ultimate playboy. Will he ever give up his bachelor ways? Jason Shankey says: "Eddie Irvine's charming and wealthy, but I know him for the charity work he does."
6. Colin Morgan (24)
Actor
We first fell under cute Colin's spell when he landed the lead role in BBC1's prime-time show Merlin. With his cheeky grin, sparkly eyes and perfect comic timing, he soon won himself a legion of fans of all ages. A hugely talented actor, Colin's debut role was in DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little at the Young Vic in 2007. He then appeared in The Catherine Tate Show and Dr Who, before landing the lead in the magical Merlin. In 2008 he picked up the Outstanding Newcomer gong the Variety Club Showbiz Awards. Fans of the Armagh man might be surprised to see his darker side in two upcoming productions. Colin will play an autistic teen in Island and a drug addict in Parked, proving his versatility as an actor.
He's our favourite fantasy figure and we think he's magic.
Maureen Coleman says: "I nominated Colin because he's extremely talented, funny and one of Northern Ireland's brightest young stars. Having met him several times, he's also a lovely, grounded guy who never forgets his roots. An all-round cutie."
5. Gary Lightbody (34)
Singer/Musician
As the sensitive, soul-searching lead singer of Snow Patrol, Bangor man Gary Lightbody has built up a loyal female following among the band's fans. He's a bona fide rock star fronting one of the biggest bands in the world, yet remains a home boy at heart. The 34-year-old still lives in Co Down, close to his folks. We all know he wears his heart on his sleeve — just listen to the lyrics of beautiful pop ballads such as Run and Chasing Cars — and although he claims to be unlucky in love, we reckon he'd make the perfect partner. Highly successful, handsome, talented and rock star royalty, Gary is a definite chart-topper for us. Jason Shankey says: "Gary is an all-round decent bloke and a down-to-earth guy. He picked up a guitar at my joint birthday party last year and just started jamming. He's an incredible talent."
James Haughey.
"It's easy to see why the likes of Calvin Klein and Armani choose him for global campaigns. I'm just hoping that, like Belfast's other supermodel Keira Gormley, he'll grace our Belfast Fashion Week campaign one season."" >
3. Jamie Dornan (28)
Model
He's the gorgeous Calvin Klein model whose sexy billboards bring traffic to a standstill. Keira Knightley's ex stepped out of her shadow when he proved himself to be one of the world's top male models, securing lucrative contracts with Christian Dior and Armani.
Jamie has been linked with a string of lovely ladies including actress Mischa Barton and models Kate Moss and Lily Cole, and although we hear on the grapevine he has a new girlfriend on the go, he's just too darn hot to leave off our list.
The Co Down supermodel is also a musician and actor and, let's face it girls, no-one looks better in a pair of CK boxer shorts.
Cathy Martin says: "Jamie is the ultimate male model — he has a perfect body and a great personality which comes across in photoshoots.
"It's easy to see why the likes of Calvin Klein and Armani choose him for global campaigns. I'm just hoping that, like Belfast's other supermodel Keira Gormley, he'll grace our Belfast Fashion Week campaign one season."
2. Liam Neeson (58)
Actor
This was a delicate one for us. We all know that Liam was heartbroken when he lost his beloved wife Natasha Richardson in an accident 18 months ago. But, like many of those who have been happily married and find themselves widowed, the Ballymena-born Hollywood A-lister may just one day feel ready to want to try and recreate something of the love and security he so relished with Natasha. And what a suitor he would make for any lady — a true gentleman, the Oscar-nominee is down-to-earth and modest. Plus, the star of The A Team and Schindler's List is also a devoted dad to sons Micheal and Daniel. Since their mother's untimely death, he has continued to make movies, support causes here and handle questions about his grief with typical politeness — a stoical example to his sons that life must go on. Let's hope that in the not too distant future Liam finds that special someone worthy of his love.
1. Graeme McDowell
Champion golfer
It will come as no surprise to most that Graeme McDowell is our number one male. This has been the year of G-Mac — so it was a fairly easy selection, although there were one or two other contenders who gave him a run for his money. Attractive, wealthy and hugely successful, the Portrush man is the golf hero who won the 2010 US Open and helped Europe to claim the Ryder Cup. Graeme may live a lavish lifestyle, travelling to exotic locations and staying in five-star hotels, but the 31-year-old remains grounded and is still very close to his mum and dad. And although he owns a plush home in Florida, Graeme keeps a seafront apartment in his home town, which he tries to get back to as often as possible. This international sports star deserves his place at the top of our leaderboard.

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 male 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 females

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