Belfast Telegraph

Give our Nadine a starring role

By Gail Walker

A thought occurred to me as I watched Nadine Coyle honking away on ITV's Ten Years of Girls Aloud tribute show at the weekend.

No, not "the digital switchover has done for me speakers". Let's face it, Nadine's accent is not going to get any better. In fact, if anything, it's now gone completely bonkers.

Seriously, though, what struck me was how hugely successful this young Derry woman is.

Against all the odds, and against all the snobbery that there is and has been about the type of music she and her bandmates make, Nadine is easily the biggest singing star to come out of her home city since Dana. And that wasn't yesterday.

Which makes it very unfortunate that it would appear room couldn't be found in the upcoming Girls Aloud reunion tour for dates in Derry. What a triumph it would have been for Nadine to bring the GA rollercoaster to the first UK City of Culture!

It really would have been a "homecoming", big time, and would have instantly made the case for the all-embracing character of the "culture" tag - ie culture is about popular culture, too.

Nadine was prominent from the outset in support of the city's bid - and rightly so. It would be unthinkable that an event on a similar scale even in a city as big and as high profile as Newcastle-upon-Tyne wouldn't have involved Wor Cheryl.

Let's hope Nadine makes it to her home town for a public outing at some point through the year - maybe she's one of Phil Coulter's "friends" next month. It really wouldn't be a year of celebration for the city without the most famous exponent of the, er, Derry lilt.


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