Maggie's on song!

RTÉ's hugely popular All Ireland Talent Show returned to our screens on Sunday with a Coleraine woman singing her way through to the live shows

Thousands of hopefuls from the length and breadth of the country

braved the wind and rain and stood in line from the early hours to perform for the judges to compete and win the grand prize of €50,000.

There were tears, there were smiles and plenty of screams as judges Daith O'S, Dana, Blthnaid Ni Chfaigh, John Creedon and Amanda Brunker whittled down their favourites to come away with their top eight acts each.

And the northern region's mentor Dana, with the help of Joe Lindsay and

Majella O'Donnell, chose Coleraine singer Maggie Ferris.

54-year-old Maggie has lived in Coleraine all her life and is the youngest of eight.

Maggie retired from the civil service four years ago and now she lives with and looks after her aunt, Mary, who is 87-years-old. Mary is the central focus of the family and she was over the moon when

Maggie made the cut in Dana's final eight.

Maggie has been a member of St Malachy's Catholic Church choir for

the past 30 years. She also takes singing lessons as they help her to stay focused, challenged and motivated. Her most memorable occasion was performing a solo piece in Ulster Hall in Belfast. She is also a dedicated member of Portrush Music Society and Ballywillan Drama Group.

Maggie entered the All Ireland Talent Show after being inspired

by Susan Boyle's performance on 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2009. She

saw that age isn't a barrier and wondered if she could transform an audience in the way that Susan Boyle did.

Her first step to finding out was when she moved Dana with her

performance of 'Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again' by Sarah Brighman at the auditions for the North.

The live shows will once again kick off with a bang on New Year's Eve.

Expect plenty of entertainment from last years contestants and a

few surprises!

Viewers will have the chance to get behind their county, their region,

their colours and put their favourite act through to the finals. The

highest polling act will go straight through to the semi finals with the second placed act getting another chance to shine in the Wild Card

Show.

Audience tickets for the live shows are available by calling: Ticket

Line: 01 4480 531. Website: http://www.rte.ie/tv/talentshow/

audience.html E Mail: audience@tyroneproductions.ie