Belfast Telegraph

From Jonathan Rea to Nadine Coyle - Northern Ireland faces who starred in 2019

 

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea
Claire Hanna
Blu Hydrangea
Nadine Coyle
Conleth Hill

By Gillian Halliday

Here are five people from Northern Ireland who made 2019 a year to remember.

Jonathan Rea

It was another stellar year for Jonathan Rea after securing his fifth consecutive World Superbike title in 2019.

The 32-year-old, from Ballyclare, Co Antrim, was “superhumbled” by the hero’s welcome he received as he arrived back in Northern Ireland following his latest triumph. In 280 races, Rea has had an impressive 168 podiums, 88 race wins and 67 fastest laps. He has won the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for the last four years.

Claire Hanna

The SDLP politician enjoyed a hugely successful 2019 by becoming one of Northern Ireland’s five new MPs in December’s election.

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Claire Hanna

She attracted the largest single vote count of all election candidates here. The former South Belfast MLA won the Westminster seat with 27,079 votes, defeating outgoing DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly by a majority of more than 15,000.

Blu Hydrangea

Belfast drag artist Blu Hydrangea won over Northern Ireland fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the moment she made her debut on the catwalk, rocking a yellow and black dress featuring hefty models of the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes.

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Blu Hydrangea

Blu, the drag name of make-up artist Joshua Cargill, had an impressive stint on the UK version of the hit US show, making it into the competition’s top five.

She also scored a number two hit on the UK iTunes chart and a top 20 official entry with fellow Drag Race contestants Baga Chipz and Divina De Campo.

Nadine Coyle

The Londonderry native returned to the spotlight in 2019 after her appearance in the jungle on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity.

The 34-year-old singer, who made her name with Girls Aloud, announced at the end of 2019 she would return to performing, with a single, All That I Know, out soon.

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Nadine Coyle

For Coyle, 2019 had its highs and lows. A rumoured cameo appearance in series two of Derry Girls failed to materialise and her music career stalled.

The year also brought the end of her relationship with American footballer Jason Bell, but a stint in the Australian outback endeared her to the public.

Conleth Hill

The Ballycastle-born actor — best known for his portrayal of master of spies Lord Varys in Game of Thrones — went viral twice last year.

First, it was for a clip showing his apparent disgruntled reaction to learning his character had been killed off in the penultimate episode.

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Conleth Hill

Then he sent the internet into a frenzy again when he was unmasked as the cast member reportedly behind the infamous coffee cup controversy.

Away from Game of Thrones, he featured in a series of notable roles, including Dublin Murders.

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