Belfast Telegraph

Five famous Northern Ireland faces to follow in 2020

Ayeisha McFerran
Ayeisha McFerran
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Kitt Philippa
James Nesbitt
JW Anderson

By Gillian Halliday

Here are five people from Northern Ireland worth keeping an eye on in 2020.

Ayeisha McFerran

The goalkeeper — key to helping Ireland’s women hockey team qualify for their first Olympics — will be one to watch in the sporting world.

The Co Antrim native ensured her place in hockey folklore with a series of vital saves during the sudden death penalty shootout against Canada in November, securing Ireland’s spot at Tokyo 2020.

She will head to Japan looking to build on — and surpass — her performance in the qualifiers under coach Sean Dancer.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

The DUP MP will be followed closely in 2020, as he takes on greater prominence at Westminster.

Sir Jeffrey replaced Nigel Dodds as the party’s leader in the House of Commons in December after Mr Dodds lost his seat.

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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

After the election, he called for better co-operation between the main unionist parties.

It prompted speculation he could run for the DUP leadership. While he distanced himself from those reports, he is a likely front-runner if the post becomes vacant.

Kitt Philippa

Northern Ireland musical star Kitt Philippa’s rise to stardom is set to continue in 2020.

Last year the young Belfast-based singer-songwriter’s debut album Human wowed critics, who hailed it as “transfixingly beautiful” and “a must-listen for all”.

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Kitt Philippa

Originally from Portadown, Kitt studied music at Queen’s University Belfast.

This year will see Kitt — who has used unconventional instruments such as a prayer dish and a bike wheel in recordings — continue to perform to large crowds, following on from playing to 40,000 Snow Patrol fans at Bangor’s Ward Park last May.

James Nesbitt

James Nesbitt will feature in two major productions — one which will be shot here — in 2020.

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James Nesbitt

Bloodlands, which counts Line of Duty creator Jed Mecurio as executive producer, will see Nesbitt play PSNI detective Tom Brannick on the trail of an assassin as he reinvestigates an infamous cold case.

Before then, Nesbitt fans can tune into the ninth series of Cold Feet, which will air later this month.

JW Anderson

A hit on the catwalk for almost a decade, 2020 is already shaping up to be the year that JW Anderson — whose designs are worn by stars such as Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber — reaches new fashion heights.

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JW Anderson

Following on from a successful AW19 London Fashion Show, the Co Londonderry-born designer made industry headlines over the past 12 months with successful collaborations with trendy footwear brand Converse and Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO.

At the close of 2019, the brand was making further forays into global markets.

Plans are also underway to expand his footwear ran ges starting with a collection for AW20.

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