Downpatrick family dance to success on breakfast TV

Downpatrick family dance to success on breakfast TV

29 July 2020

A DOWNPATRICK family have danced themselves on to a new television show as teammates of celebrities Martin Kemp and Ronan Keating.

Oilbhe and Andy Kilmartin and their daughters, Grace (12), Hannah (11) and four year-old Emily, are the unexpected stars of Martin and Roman’s Sunday Best! show on ITV 1 this Sunday.

They were invited to take part in the father and son hosted game show due to the popularity of their Irish dancing video.

The show aims to shine a spotlight on families that have recently done something nice, such as caring for others, or entertaining people during the lockdown. 

The Kilmartins took part in a fun games competition with Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp’s team, along with singing star Ronan Keating from Boyzone.

They competed against Martin’s son, Roman, known as a radio DJ and for coming third on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, along with another family with Australian drag star and Celebrity Big Brother winner Courtney Act.

Mum Oilbhe (35) explained the reason behind her family being chosen was all down to her daughters doing some “Riverdance-style” dancing at home on the Racecourse Road.

“Grace and Hannah are Irish dancers and attend the Brennan/Miskelly/McCormick Dance School in Crossgar,” she said. “They worked hard to take part in an exhibition and the parade planned for St Patrick’s Day in Downpatrick,” said Oilbhe.

“But of course that had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were both so disappointed so I thought what could we do an exhibition dance from home and we videoed on Facebook.

“It was really just to cheer us up and for them to get the chance to dance what they had practised. Emily also took part, although she is just starting off, and ended up stealing the show. I danced too but it’s been a while since I last danced.

“Before we knew it, the video went viral and was used by the Irish Daily Mirror and ended up getting three million views. It was so bizarre as we got messages from Africa, America and all around the world from people who said that they ready enjoyed it and it had really cheered them up.”

Thinking nothing more of their 15 minutes of fame on social media, Oilbhe was stunned to receive a call from an ITV producer four weeks ago.

“The girl was from Martin and Roman’s new show and said she had seen the video and wanted us to do a Zoom call with her,” said Oilbhe.

“So we all took part, including my husband Andy, and she forwarded our Zoom session with her to the producers and we were so surprised to have been asked to take part last Wednesday. The whole idea of the show is a fun family game show where they get families and stars to take compete in every week.”

Unfortunately, due to social distancing guidelines, the family did not get to meet with the stars in the television as all appearances were by Zoom.

Spa therapist Oilbhe said: “I was so happy when I was told that Ronan Keating was to be our teammate as I absolutely love him.

“We were competing against another family from England whose son is a future Olympian and has achieved so many records for his age. It was all a bit of fun.”

She hinted that Irish dancing featured on the forthcoming show and that daughters, Grace and Hannah, who attend St Mary’s High School in Downpatrick, and little Emily, who attends Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Primary School, help to show how it’s done.

Martin and Roman’s Sunday Best! airs on ITV1 on Sunday from 8.30am.