Joe Mahon looks forward and back as Derry’s culture year comes to an end

�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13th January 2013. ''Joe Mahon, presenter, Lesser Spotted Ulster.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13th January 2013. ''Joe Mahon, presenter, Lesser Spotted Ulster.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

The last episode of ‘Lesser Spotted Culture’, which will be broadcast on Monday, December 23 at 10.20pm on UTV, is jam-packed as Joe Mahon looks both forward and back over Derry’s year of celebration.

Joe takes a look back over some of Derry’s cultural history while looking forward to the legacy of the City of Culture year.

The presenter takes in some of the stunning illuminations of the Lumiere Festival which helped bring the year to a close and revisits one of the interviewees from the first episode, Donal Doherty, who helped organise the Music Promise Programme and has been involved in staging Derry’s first annual International Choral Music Festival.

He tells Joe about his aspiration that it becomes one of the top festivals of its kind in the world.

Another successful music festival held in the city recently may have an even more powerful legacy than that as the funds raised by Thornhill College’s one-day festival went towards their campaign to build a sister school in Africa.

Joe joined in the festivities of the ‘Thornhill One Big Day’ and discovered a wealth of singing and songwriting talent in the school.

There may also be potential for some top DJs to emerge from the school as Joe discovered when he dropped in on a DJ-ing lesson and discovered how complicated it actually is!

Of course, you don’t need musical talent to perform – you don’t even need a stage, as street performance artist James King demonstrates.

James has been doing street theatre in Derry for more than 20 years and he chats to Joe about his art and his experiences.

James could be said to be part of the legacy of theatre of all kinds in the city and Joe finds out about the long history of drama and music performance in Derry from author, Nuala McAllister.

Much of the theatre Nuala talks about may well have been enjoyed by the former inhabitants of Joe’s next stop – the Georgian-era residence of the Dean of St Columb’s Cathedral on Bishop Street.

However, it’s likely that the servants who worked in the basement area that Joe explores with historian Alastair Rowan didn’t see much of it! They would have been working too hard, Joe discovers.

Another historic building in the same street, not quite so well preserved, is a former gentlemen’s club which has seen better days and is about to again. The Northern Counties Club is due to have a major makeover and Joe chats to Chief Executive of the Inner City Trust, Helen Quigley, about their big plans for the premises.

Joe also chats to some of the community engagement officers about the huge range of local projects that took place during the year and what they hope the future will hold for community engagement.

He ends the series with another person from the first episode, Chief Executive of Culture Company, Shona McCarthy, who chats to him about both the achievements and the legacy of an incredible year in the history of Derry.