COMEDIAN Patrick Kielty and North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley were all smiles when they were spotted walking through the streets of Ballymena in recent days.
They were photographed passing The Braid Town Hall building.
‘Ballymena Daily’ can reveal the County Down star was in the town in connection with a documentary he is making to mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of Northern Ireland.
A source said: “As part of a TV documentary Patrick is interviewing people who can give an insight into some of the figures who have played such a big role in the history of Northern Ireland and the late Ian Paisley Senior certainly did that.
“And there are not many people better qualified to talk about the ‘Big Man’ than Ian Junior.”
Kielty is embarking on a journey to uncover some of the turning points in Northern Ireland’s history in his own inimitable style, meeting people with a close connection to the key moments in its first 100 years and discovering how their remarkable stories intersect with those of his own family.
He will try to make sense of some of the events which have shaped Northern Ireland: from the unionist families who got caught on the ‘wrong side’ of the new border to the UK Government’s interest in ending partition at the start of the Second World War in return for Ireland abandoning its policy of neutrality towards the Nazis.
Kielty will look at how partition has shaped the identities of people here, and participants will talk about how they feel about this corner of the world today, and how the past continues to shape Northern Ireland’s future.
“It’s almost 100 years since the border was drawn in Ireland and Northern Ireland was born. Now is the perfect time to look at how that border came to be, what it means for the future, and how it has shaped my own family’s story,” the Dundrum comic said.
Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion at the BBC, says: “We are delighted to announce that Patrick will be presenting a film on this landmark anniversary for Northern Ireland in a way only he could do.”