Northern Ireland news

Maura Higgins not first from Ireland to find reality show fame

Leah Totten won The Apprentice in 2013

MAURA Higgins is far from the first person from Ireland to find fame on reality TV.

Big Brother, The X Factor, The Apprentice and The Voice have all propelled ordinary people into the public eye over the years.

:: Thomas McDermott, Big Brother

Omagh farmer 'Tyrone Tom' was one of the first reality stars from Northern Ireland.

He appeared in the very first series of Big Brother back in 2000, finding love in the house with fellow contestant Claire Strutton.

After moving to Spain, they later separated. He is now married and lives in Cornwall where he runs a property company.

:: Orlaith McAllister, Big Brother

North Belfast-born model entered the Big Brother house in 2005 and continued to enjoy fame after her stint on the reality show.

The Miss Northern Ireland runner-up recently appeared in a BBC series Beauty Queen and Single.

The mum-of-two also recently qualified as a fully trained fitness instructor.

:: Eoghan Quigg, The X Factor

The singer from Dungiven, Co Derry finished third in 2008 series of The X Factor, sharing the stage with American superstar Beyonce in the final.

He enjoyed a short-lived music career but still performs regularly as well as lining out as a Gaelic footballer in Co Derry.

:: Leah Totten, The Apprentice

The 2013 Apprentice winner opened a cosmetic clinic co-owned with Lord Alan Sugar after she won the show.

With clinics in London and Essex and turnover turnover growing to £1.6 million a year, the Derry doctor has achieved major success after her reality show stint.

:: Andrea Begley, The Voice

The Pomeroy singer won the 2013 series of The Voice, under the guidance of mentor Danny O'Donaghue of The Script.

Having released her debut album The Message in 2013, Andrea who is partially sighted recently released a new album and toured with her aunt Philomena Begley.

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