Big thank you from

Laura Kayes talks to Paul McCullough

Paul McCulloughPAUL McCullough currently runs Meadowvale Entertainment Agency in Carryduff and is the chairman on the panel of judges for Miss Northern Ireland.

The agency supplies around 40 venues in Northern Ireland with regular weekend entertainment and manages a host of bands and tribute acts around the UK.

While working in Shorts, Paul got his first taste for the entertainment industry when he was put on the committee of the social club. After a very successful stint co-ordinating several acts, he soon became in demand for his excellent organisational skills and decided to leave the company.

Following a grant from Ledu and great help from Castlereagh Borough Council, Meadowvale Entertainment Agency was born.

I get up at around Sam and after getting dressed and having breakfast, head to the office. I usually start work between 9.15 and 9.30am.

The venues where the acts will be performing. such as nightclubs, don't usually open until around 11am but until then I am extremely busy.

The first thing I do is switch on my computer then check any messages on the answering machine from the night before. I ring everyone back and sort out any problems.

After this I check and answer any emails I have received. Then, the rest of my morning is spent drawing up and typing out contracts and organising any post that needs to be sent.

That usually takes me up until around 12.00pm which means it's time to begin contacting the venues.

When ringing the venues I can be doing one of two things: either trying to organise acts for certain clubs or making sure that all plans for the weekend are running smoothly and are on schedule. Depending on the number of acts booked this can take a few hours.

I then usually ring the acts. I make sure they are prepared for the gig they will be performing at the weekend and deal with any worries or queries that they might have.

Many of the clients I deal with would be the likes of the winners from Star in their Eyes so I would spend the rest of my evening dealing with other entertainment agencies throughout the UK. I would then book any flights and hotel accommodation for any acts flying out to the UK or for performers coming into Northern Ireland.

I usually work right up until 10pm at night after which I like to go to bed.

Weekends can be pretty much the same except I stop around 9.30pm but my night doesn't end there. I own several pieces of lighting and sound equipment so I would ordinarily visit the venues and set this up.

Even on a Sunday I would spend a good part of my day collecting equipment from the night before.

Any free time I have is spent on my hobbies - rugby and football. I now attend most of Ulster's home matches. I also own a property in Spain, where I try to go as often as possible.

Ulster Star