Belfast Telegraph

Derry Girls favourite Kevin McAleer joins Cathedral Quarter line-up

Actor Kevin McAleer, Uncle Colm in TV series Derry Girls, at the launch of the 20th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast
Actor Kevin McAleer, Uncle Colm in TV series Derry Girls, at the launch of the 20th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast
Marian Keyes
Derry Girls
Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

Comedy legend Kevin McAleer has found a new legion of fans - as he's having to remind people who approach him when he's out and about that he's not his Derry Girls character, droning Uncle Colm.

He was speaking at the launch of the 20th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (CQAF) programme in Belfast.

He has become one of the favourite characters in the hit Channel 4 series written by Lisa McGee, with fans taking to social media to rejoice every time he makes an appearance.

"I'm not boring Uncle Colm," he explained. "A lot of people come up to me and congratulate me on how well I do the boring Uncle Colm character and I have to explain to them that it's acting."

The Tyrone comedian will perform two runs of his stand-up show 'Guru' at The Sunflower in Belfast on May 5 and 7.

The gigs are both sold out, but festival director Sean Kelly said he hopes they can work to fit in a third.

Speaking about the comedian, Mr Kelly said: "Kevin has recently found a whole new audience base by being among a number of stand-out acts in Derry Girls, but to us he's always been our favourite Irish comedian."

"He's now somewhat of a spiritual guru and the highest Lama in Co Tyrone.

"He's going to help you find your whole again," he quipped.

The 11-day celebration of the arts will feature more than 100 events in over 20 venues across Belfast's Cathedral Quarter and beyond as the festival marks its 20th anniversary with a bumper programme of live music, comedy, literature, theatre, film, visual art and more.

Rufus Wainwright, CQAF artist in residence DANI, Marian Keyes and Phil Taggart are among the star names descending on Belfast between May 2-12.

Representing the Arts Council, Grainne McCann said: "As ever, this year the programme is ambitious, it's eclectic, it's full of surprises and that's really a large part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival every year.

"You can never really be quite sure what to expect.

"On behalf of the Arts Council, on your 20th birthday, I just want to say that we are very proud to be your principal funder.

"The CQAF is certainly one of our outstanding festivals of the year.

"We do recognise how much blood and sweat goes into making a festival programme and making this a great and memorable time in the city and lighting up our days and nights to come."

To see the full line-up and to buy tickets go to www.cqaf.com

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