Belfast Telegraph

Personalities and politicians: Our hopes for 2016

Pamela Ballantine (57) is a continuity presenter for UTV and lives in Belfast. She says:

I must admit I like years with even numbers, so I am looking forward to 2016. I have a good feeling about it. I really just want good luck and good health for all my family and friends.

I want to continue to do my continuity work at UTV, which I love. I really enjoy going into work every day.

I also want to travel as much as possible - as anyone who knows me knows, I love my holidays.

One of my favourite things is having dinner out with friends, and my good friend and former colleague Letitia Fitzpatrick has emigrated to Australia, so I would like to have dinner in Australia. I can live in hope, can't I?

I really just want good things to happen and a good year for me and everyone in my life.

Pete Snodden (35) is Cool FM's morning show presenter and lives in Bangor with his wife Julia and daughters Ivana (4) and Elayna (1). He says:

This year, I would love to get more sleep. With two young kids and the breakfast show, sleep is very limited in my world, so that's a goal.

I would also love a trip over to France in summer to watch Northern Ireland play in the Euro 2016 finals. That would be a dream come true - especially if we were to win.

I'd love to go on more holidays with the family and to take my mum Irene away with us.

My dad passed away last year and she has been so good to everyone that she really deserves some time away. I'd love to be able to treat her and have that special family time.

Workwise, I want to continue doing what I do as I love it and I feel very privileged to be able to do something I love for a living.

I also just want everyone in my family and all my friends to stay healthy this year.

Trevor Campbell (69) is a presenter on Downtown Radio and lives in Moneyrea. He has a partner, Violet. He says:

This is my 40th year presenting on Downtown Radio, so it is a pretty special year. I also turn 70 in July, so it is a big year all round.

I am very fortunate to be still presenting at this stage in my life and loving what I do. I want to continue to do it for as long as they'll have me.

I'd like to travel more this year. Violet was a neighbour and then we got together. We love our holidays away - especially in the Greek islands and Spain. We just love the sun and relaxing and taking it easy. Violet has hinted that she might take me to Rome for the big 70! I feel very fortunate in my life that I still get such a buzz from playing records.

Pat Ramsey MLA lives in Londonderry with his wife Chris and their daughter Aine (15). He says:

My goal this year is to get my quality of life back. I have been ill for a while and had complications, which have led to mobility issues.

I want to try swimming, which hopefully will strengthen the muscles and get things moving. I want to take care of myself and hope I have a healthier 2016.

In the political arena, I want to ensure there is more compassion for the marginalised in society and those who are disadvantaged, young and unemployed. I want to work across the board and raise awareness in these areas and help those most in need. I also just want a good year for my family and for everyone to be healthy and happy.

Stephen Clements (40) is a Q Radio presenter and lives in Carrickfergus with his wife Natasha and two children Poppy (4) and Robbie (1). He says:

This year I want to get fit and stay healthy. We have had some health issues in the family circle and it makes you more aware of your own health.

Natasha and I want to do stuff to our home and to have a nice holiday as a family. I just want everyone in my life to be happy and content - particularly Natasha and the kids.

The last six months in work have been hectic and I have had so many opportunities and doors open to me.

People whom I really admire, like Stephen Nolan and Eamonn Holmes, have been really complimentary about my work.

I have been working with the Northern Ireland football team and I hope to get to France to be part of the Euro 2016 finals.

I have also been working with Ulster Rugby - sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is all actually happening to me.

Mary Rose McGrath (43) is a fashion designer and lives in Belfast with her son Christopher (16) and their puppy Willow. She says:

I am very busy at the start of the year - this is a busy time for brides. I really hope people come this year to see my lovely new studio in The Spires Centre in Belfast. I am very proud of it - it's beautiful.

This year, my goal is to teach more people about fashion, so I am opening up an academy where young people can come and learn all about design.

I have been in the industry for 20 years and 15 of them were spent in London, so I feel I have a lot of knowledge to pass on.

Classes will start this month for seven to 17-year-olds, who will come along and learn how to draw and then they will actually make a piece which will be shown on the runway to their parents later in the year.

I am very excited about this project, but I want to ensure some 'me time' this year as well.

Oh, and I would like 2016 to be the year I meet the man of my dreams. I feel I have been waiting long enough for him to show up.

Ken Reid (60) is UTV's political editor. He lives in Ballymena with his wife, Liz. He says:

I want 2016 to be a year of good health for all my family and one where my children - Gareth (33), Sarah (33) and Sophie (27) - continue to do well and achieve all that they want. I would also like it to be a good year for Everton, Ballymena Rugby Club and, of course, Cliftonville. My sport is very important to me and that would make it a good year.

This will be a busy year for me workwise, as there are elections both north and south.

My wife Liz has just retired, so I hope she has a good year and enjoys her retirement and maybe we can get away a bit and travel.

Pamela Smyth (49) is a make-up artist and the Belfast Telegraph's Make-up and Beauty Woman of the Year. She lives in Crawfordsburn with her husband Mark Lowry and their children, Lex (12) and Myles (10). She says:

This year, I definitely want to slow the pace down. The last four or five years have been manic.

I have had my make-up school and been working on programmes such as Game Of Thrones and The Fall. It's been mad.

I want to get back to a more holistic approach and working more one-on-one with clients.

I took some time out last January and did some courses as I wanted to keep my training up.

Working on Game Of Thrones has been amazing and I loved it, but it is very fast-paced.

When I started it in the beginning, no one had a clue what it was all about, but it has become such a phenomenon that even my kids think it is cool now.

Mark is an art director on the show, so we work together, but we just about see each other for breakfast. I want to spend more quality time with the boys - listening to them and chatting to them as they grow up so fast.

Jeffrey Donaldson MLA (53) lives in Dromore with his wife Eleanor and they have two grown-up children, Claire (25) and Laura (23). He says:

At a personal level, I am starting in my new post as the Prime Minister's trade envoy to Egypt and leading my first UK trade delegation in February. This is new ground for me and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this will bring.

My wife Eleanor is a Formula 1 fan and follows Lewis Hamilton, so as a special treat I am planning to take her to one of the European grands prix in the New Year.

After very difficult years of the global recession, I believe 2016 will be a good year for Northern Ireland as we welcome a new First Minister in the person of the very capable Arlene Foster. I look forward to the Green and White Army taking France by storm in Euro 2016. We also commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and remember the enormous sacrifices of the previous Ulster army that went to France 100 years ago.

Caroline Fleck (42) is a Downtown Radio DJ and lives in Coleraine with son Jack (17) and daughter Molly (1). She says:

My plan is to get fit. I want to lose baby weight, get healthy and back to work full-time.

I want to love my growing family with everything I have. My other half, Tom Fuller, is a musician in Chicago, so we split our time between here and there, but the aim is to move out there.

I would like to study a new subject and maybe even have a career change. It's a secret from my other half, but I would like to write and record a song even though that's his job in the family.

I have a friend who is a singer/songwriter from Kilrea, Emma Reid, and this year we plan to do some songwriting together.

Katrina Dornan (41) is founder of online magazine, and lives in Belfast with her husband Peter. She says:

This year, I have decided to go with the flow. The last year has been one of my most exciting and none of it was planned.

I returned to studying, did some make-up courses and, next thing, I found myself working on the set of Game Of Thrones for three months.

It was an amazing adventure and something different for me.

My hope for this year is that I continue to do things that make me happy. If you just say yes and go with it amazing things happen and opportunities come your way.

I'm not going to chase things. I am just going to let them happen and see where it takes me - that seems to be the best plan of all.

Belfast Telegraph


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