Northern Ireland

Derry Glee star Damian McGinty gets UK TV debut

Damian McGinty
Image caption Damian McGinty has made his UK television debut on Glee

A 19-year-old from Londonderry has made his UK television debut on the American hit series, Glee.

Damian McGinty won a competition against more than 40,000 hopefuls to star in the show along with Samuel Larsen from Los Angeles.

He plays the role of an Irish exchange student, Rory Flanagan, trying to fit in at an American university.

Both winners are appearing in guest roles in seven shows, being aired weekly on Sky.

Damian's father, Damian McGinty senior, watched his son's debut episode, called "Pot o' Gold", at a family gathering around the television in Derry on Thursday night.

He described watching him on the small screen as "surreal".

"I am literally nipping myself," he said. "It is unbelievable."

There has been a positive reaction from critics in the United States.

Entertainment News described McGinty's performance in his debut episode as "fabulous".

Entertainment Weekly said, "Glee had a pretty solid return last night after its baseball hiatus, thanks in large part to Glee Project co-winner Damian McGinty's debut."

The teenager was described as the "most likeable and most improved" competitor in the Glee Project.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this happening," he said after he won the competition.

"I mean, I have always wanted to reach the top, but there are millions of other people in the world who want to be there too… so I don't understand how I have struck so lucky," he said.

"I feel honoured, I feel amazed, I just feel incredible."

Damian has travelled the world with Phil Coulter's Irish singing group, Celtic Thunder, since he was 14.

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