We’re kicking off the New Year with a bang, as we welcome 56,730 brand new pages to The Archive, which include a cracker of a new title, the Coleraine Times. Meanwhile, from Bromley to Buxton, from Wharfedale to Worthing, we’ve updated eleven of our existing titles from across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
So, as we wish our subscribers, friends and followers a very happy New Year, we also present to you our first new and updated titles of 2024. Meanwhile, we take a look at the early career of one of Coleraine’s most famous sons, actor James Nesbitt, and how his rise to fame was closely chronicled by local newspaper the Coleraine Times.
The Coleraine Times is a weekly tabloid-form newspaper, which reports on the news and events from the town of Coleraine. Coleraine is a town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which lies near the mouth of the River Bann. Its newspaper, the Coleraine Times, was founded in the latter half of the twentieth century, and appears every Wednesday.
Aside from reporting on the local news from the area, the newspaper also contains reports on sport in the region, as well as other special features. Now owned by National World Publishing, the Coleraine Times continues to be published to this day.
That’s it from our first new title of 2024, but there’s still so much more to explore, with additions to eleven of our existing titles. The biggest update of the New Year is to the Liverpool Daily Post, to which we have added over 14,000 brand new titles. Continuing with our Northern Irish theme, we’ve added new pages to the Portadown Times, whilst the Republic of Ireland is represented with additions to the Cork Daily Herald from the year 1868.
We’re not neglecting Scotland either this week, with a trio of our Scottish titles seeing updates, from 1880 all the way through to 1987. Our updated Scottish newspapers are the Dundee Weekly News, the Musselburgh News, and the Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser.
The Early Career of James Nesbitt
Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt, the star of both the silver and the television screens, was born William James Nesbitt in 1965 in Ballymena. At the age of eleven he and his family moved to Coleraine, and it is that town with which he has strong ties.
As our new title this week the Coleraine Times reveals, James Nesbitt displayed his acting talent at an early age, going to secure film and television roles in his twenties. Moreover, the Coleraine Times, the actor’s hometown newspaper, went on to closely follow the star’s career, and report on the occasions that Nesbitt returned there.
On 28 November 1990 Roger Anderson for the Coleraine Times reported how the ‘stage is set for Jimmy,’ detailing how ‘one of Coleraine’s most famous young actors [was] about to make his break on the silver screen.’ Anderson described Nesbitt’s ‘precocious’ acting talent, which ‘hallmarked him for greater things,’ relating how:
Whilst at grammar school Jimmy joined the university based Upstage Downstage Theatre Company. From 1978-83 Jimmy was lead in virtually all of the company’s productions, including the highly successful Godspell which went on to play the Opera House in Belfast…During his school years Jimmy also became a stalwart of the Ulster Youth Theatre, playing major roles in many of their shows.
However, up until this point in Nesbitt’s career, as Roger Anderson details for the Coleraine Times, he had yet to appear on film. But all this was to change with his appearance in Hear My Song, a ‘new feature film based on the life of the popular Irish tenor Josef Locke,’ in which Nesbitt was to play ‘the part of Finton, a theatrical agent from Liverpool who’s own life becomes inextricably linked to Locke’s.’
Roger Anderson again profiled James Nesbitt for the Coleraine Times in January 1992, which this time appeared as a double page spread. Nesbitt discussed his role in film Hear My Song, but revealed the difficulties of his early acting career, confiding to Anderson how: ‘On Monday I am returning to London and the first thing I have to do is to sign on the dole.’
This piece for the Coleraine Times delved further into James Nesbitt’s early acting roots, Anderson penning how ‘his thespian roots stem from his father Jim who as headmaster of the Blagh Primary School always encouraged the children in his charge to take an interest in the arts.’ Indeed, James Nesbitt in this interview explains how his mother and father were ‘the greatest influences on [his] career.’
By May 1992 James Nesbitt was back in Coleraine for the charity premiere of Hear My Song. Roger Anderson for the Coleraine Times was once again on hand, as he described the actor’s return to his hometown:
At 8.15 all eyes turned excitedly towards the entrance as a chauffeur driven car pulled slowly to a standstill. The door opened and the evening’s guest of honour, Coleraine man Jimmy Nesbitt, stepped out into the night air. As he moved along the red carpet towards the line of luminaries waiting to greet him the foyer echoed to the spontaneous applause of the tuxedo clad gathering.
The Coleraine Times would go on to trace James Nesbitt’s burgeoning career, from describing his appearance in a Cornflakes ad, as well as a role in Lovejoy, in July 1993, to his new fame as a star of television series Cold Feet. In August 1999 the Coleraine Times described how James Nesbitt was set to return to Coleraine, to open the Children’s Services facility in the town.
Find out more about James Nesbitt, as well as the careers of other famous actors, in the pages of our newspapers today.
This week we have updated eleven of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Bromley Journal and West Kent Herald
|Cork Daily Herald
|Dundee Weekly News
|Liverpool Daily Post
|Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser
|Wharfedale & Airedale Observer