Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Belfast doctor Ciara Mackey steals Michael McIntyre show in front of millions

By Claire McNeilly

Eamonn Holmes was among the first to congratulate Belfast doctor Ciara Mackey after her stunning performance on Michael McIntyre's Big Show at the weekend.

But her shock at being tricked by her boyfriend into becoming the episode's 'Unexpected Star of the Show' was nothing compared to that of the audience when they heard her stunning voice.

The 30-year-old A&E doctor delivered a show-stopping rendition of the Les Miserables classic, On My Own, in front of 2,500 people, with millions more watching on Saturday night television.

Speaking last night, Ciara said she really believed she was checking into a central London hotel shortly before she found herself starring in the Bafta-winning variety show.

"It was a total shock," she said. "I was 100% in a hotel.

"It's so hard to explain the altered reality when the curtain was pulled back and I wasn't... I just couldn't figure it out. They 100% got me.

"I can still see that moment in my mind's eye."

After getting over the initial shock, however, Ciara, who has been based in Belfast for nine years, delivered a powerhouse performance. She's no stranger to singing on stage, having been part of the cast of Spamalot in Belfast's Grand Opera House, but the Dublin native conceded that Michael McIntyre's Big Show is a different level entirely. "It was difficult trying to wrap my head around what was actually happening," she explained.

"But it all flew in so quickly I didn't have time to think about it.

"At one point I shed a tear backstage, just for about 20 seconds, but obviously they showed that. It was overwhelming." Ciara, who looked radiant in a red dress, revealed that the robe was waiting for her backstage ahead of the performance, which was organised, without her knowledge, by her partner of two years Simon Black, a video producer from Newry.

"They tried it on me and made the adjustments so that's why it did fit so well," she said.

"But you don't get a lot of time; just enough for you to get your make-up done and rehearse."

Despite her nerves, Ciara's voice wowed fans on social media, with famous Northern Ireland journalist and broadcaster Eamonn Holmes leading the way.

The former Sky News Sunrise and This Morning presenter tweeted: "Wasn't Dr Ciara amazing on Michael McIntyre's Show tonight as The Unexpected Star! Belfast at its best."

So what's next for the sensational singing doctor? Will she be swapping emergency medicine for the stage and stardom any time soon?

"All I know for sure is that I have a twelve-and-a-half hour shift ahead of me at Belfast City Hospital," she replied.

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