Belfast Telegraph

Friday People: Dermott Hickson

The 27-year-old actor lives in Co Derry with his fiancée Fiona Gallagher. He will be appearing in The Conquest of Happiness at the Ulster Bank Festival at Queen's later this month

By Kerry McKitterick

My fiancée, Fiona Gallagher

Fiona and I met on the pavement of the Cromwell Road, Belfast, in 2005 – we were both heading in to the same house party of mutual friends. There are a group of about 25 of us who lived in that particular house at one time or another, including Fiona and me. We're expecting our first child on Christmas Eve. At the moment we're both oscillating between being really excited and absolutely terrified.


My best friend, Ryan O'Neil

From school, my best friend would be Snoopy, who I met at St Patrick's College in Maghera. Someone called him Snoopy in first year and it stuck. I met him in fourth year, during rehearsals for the school musical. I heard him playing a Nirvana song on guitar and he's been one of my closest friends ever since. We both have a great love of music and even used to be in the same band together.

My parents, Colum and Vera

My dad manages a transport company in Kildare while mum still lives here in south Derry and is a home help. I have seven sisters and one brother and I'm slap in the middle of everyone.

Mum and dad are very supportive of my career – mum feels much better about it now that she sees I can actually make a living out of it. She certainly never would have stopped me doing something that made me happy, though.

Who I go to for advice

Fiona and I are polar opposites but I think that's what keeps us grounded. We're both good at guiding each other to where we need to go.

My mentor, Des Kennedy

Professionally there are several I should mention, but Des is probably the most appropriate. He is a very talented director, who helped me a lot as a student, and became a good friend. I've had a lot of invaluable advice and insight on how to manoeuvre within the industry, advice that I carry with me to this day.

My secret crush is... Ellen Page

...though only after defeating Emma Stone in the final. She was great in films like Juno and X-Men.

My fantasy dinner party

I'd never actually want to meet my idols, but I think if I could draft a constellation of the almighty Stella Adler, Marlon Brando and Daniel Day-Lewis in one room, it would greatly benefit me in my craft.

It would probably be best that I have Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins along also so we could address the impact they had on my teens. And as a wild card, I'd have Belfast Telegraph columnist Eamonn McCann; he's such an intriguing and abrasive character, a wonderful orator and thinker, and an advocate for social change.

He's someone I have a lot of admiration for.


The Conquest of Happiness will be performed at the T13 Skatepark, Belfast, as part of the Belfast Festival at Queen's on October 25 & 26. For details, visit

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