UTV snaps famous faces in surreal places

Published Friday, 14 December 2012
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A special programme Shooting For The Stars has been following a host of Northern Ireland's famous faces, as they take part in quirky photoshoots as part of a UTV cameraman's fundraising project.

UTV snaps famous faces in surreal places
Guess who is taking part in Tommy Hassan's photoshoot ... (© Tommy Hassan)

Two years ago, Tommy Hassan and colleague Albert Kirk embarked on an unusual plan to raise money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, by compiling a photo-book with a difference.

But UTV also turned the tables on the cameramen themselves, going to film behind the scenes and talking to some of the familiar faces they recruited for the project.

Shooting For The Stars also meets some of the families supported by the Hospice and hears about the unique services and care provided by its staff.

As it takes £2.5m each year to fund the invaluable work of the Hospice, Tommy explained that he wanted to help raise both funds and awareness - and his photos certainly caught people's attention.

"There is a great shot of Lord Bannside with Ian Paisley Junior which got everybody talking - but you'll have to watch the programme to see how it turned out!" he said.

"The photos are all of local celebrities, but they are presented in rather strange contexts and backgrounds. For instance, we see our own Paul Clark as an injured GI - complete with uniform, helmet and war wounds to match."

A host of recognisable people are transformed, with some more difficult to place than others.

They include stars of UTV, U105 and the BBC, politicians, musicians and many more.

We plan to use all the images in a fabulous coffee table style book to raise funds for this incredibly worthy cause.

Tommy Hassan

UTV Channel Editor Paul Clarke said: "In Shooting for The Stars, we go behind the scenes of some pretty outlandish photo shoots with a few of Northern Ireland's famous faces.

"The results are quite brilliant ... if a bit bizarre!"

He added: "Tommy is usually behind the camera at UTV, shooting news and other programmes.

"So when he swapped his video camera for a stills camera to raise money for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, we turned the tables and sent our cameras to follow him."

And the Hospice was delighted to be chosen as the nominated charity to receive all proceeds from the book.

"Our sincere gratitude goes to everyone involved for making our children and families feel like the real stars," Tina McCrossan, Director of Children's Hospice services, said.

Shooting For The Stars is available for 30 days on the UTV Player.
© UTV News
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