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Brian Kingston: 'It's so important to enjoy downtime with family'

We ask local celebrities what are their most favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 05/09/2016

Lord Mayor of Belfast Brian Kingston
Lord Mayor of Belfast Brian Kingston

The 50-year-old Lord Mayor of Belfast lives in the city and is married to Eileen. They have three children: Leanne (25), Owen (23) and Amy (19).

My best moment

The births of my three children, particularly the birth of my first child, Leanne. It was a difficult delivery and Eileen had to have an emergency Caesarean which they kicked me out of the delivery room for. They told me I had a daughter and I rang my mum - but I was virtually speechless.

My best song

Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones. It's a beautifully crafted song - I've always been a fan of Simon and the musicality he puts into his songs. I've seen him live a couple of times - most recently when he played the SSE with Sting. To see two of my favourite artists performing in Belfast was amazing as it wasn't that long ago when singers of that calibre wouldn't come here at all.

My best way to relax

For about 16 years I played amateur football, but when I stopped playing I started to put on weight so I joined a running club instead, the Albertville Harriers. While I still run on my own, being part of a club motivates you much more. It's very social and I push myself more. You go from being a jogger to a runner. I particularly enjoy running in the Belfast Hills as there's an excellent network of paths at the top of the Black Mountain. You would think you're in the Mournes up there, not on the outskirts of a city.

My best job

I read physics at Manchester University but wanted to come home and give something back because of what was happening here, so I was a community worker in north and west Belfast for 20 years. My best job, though, is being a councillor as it's a great honour to be an elected representative.

My best advice

To use a running analogy, I think you need to pace yourself in life and if you do a hard run then you need to take some time out and recover. You need your downtime to stay physically and mentally well, so you should make sure to build that time into your life and spend time with your family.

My best gift

When my children were small my sister paid for all of us to go to Disneyland Paris. It was something I could never have afforded at that time - we usually booked a caravan each year. It was the right time for us to go as later on when we had more money the kids were older and I don't think they would have enjoyed it so much.

My best achievement

Becoming Lord Mayor of my home city. This year will be a highlight of my life as I love Belfast and to hold this position is a dream come true. In this role I meeting so many people who make positive contributions and every week I discover something about Belfast that I never knew.

My best movie

I've always enjoyed the Godfather trilogy, but another film is The Good Shepherd with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. They're both about power and influence and neglecting the thing that should be the most precious of all - the family. I enjoy movies with lots of intrigue where you have to work out exactly what's happening.

My best buy

My Fitbit fitness tracker as it helps you pace while you run. I set myself targets and measure my heart rate as I run.

My best book

I don't get to read much now so it tends to be when I'm on a plane or when I'm holiday. The book I've enjoyed the most recently was a short history of the First World War called In The Trenches by Gary Sheffield.

Belfast Telegraph

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