19 May 2022

Maghera school girl features in two-part BBC drama

'Three Families' was aired on BBC One this week.

Maghera school girl features in two-part BBC drama

A County Derry school girl has appeared in a two-part BBC drama.

Brooke McEldowney, a Primary One pupil at St Brigid's Tirkane/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd, has appeared in 'Three Families', which aired this week on BBC One.

'Three Families' explores the emotive issues around women's rights and tells the story of the grassroots campaign to lift Northern Ireland's restrictions on abortion.

Brooke enjoying herself on set.

Brooke landed the role after her mum Kirsty received an email from a casting agency.

“When I opened an email about NI filming and how they were on the lookout for a young child, Brooke fitted the description,” she told Derry Now.

“It was all very overwhelming as the world was going through a pandemic and my daughter was now going to be part of a cast. It all felt like a dream.”

For Brooke, the dream was very much a reality, and although she began filming at just four years of age, the young County Derry girl made light of the heavy schedule.

“She has been such a busy girl, taking everything in her stride and having so many different roles in filming and completely loving it all,” said Kirsty.

“During the lockdowns while everyone was at home, I was arranging my other kids' childcare and driving to our next destination for long days ahead.

“She had attended local drama and dance classes for a short while - pre-Covid - so this helped. She loved all the attention and getting chauffeured to each set, a few places I never expected to be.”

Five-year-old Brooke has a central role in the drama as the daughter of actor Colin Morgan, previously of 'The Fall' and actress Amy James Kelly, who has previously featured in 'Coronation Street'.

“When I met them and signed the contracts I knew that this was a big deal and how I had to keep everything a secret,” said Kirsty.

“I had to travel myself to each set every couple of days prior filming to get a Covid test. Thankfully, they were all negative so Brooke could always continue with her role.”

The future is already looking bright for the Maghera girl, and she was handed a unique birthday present in February when she began filming on a CBBC musical drama series.

“It was so perfect and fitting on her 5th birthday and the cast, producers and directors spoiled her,” said Kirsty.

“Her confidence rapidly grew and has been even given spoken lines for on screen. She has gained multiple jobs since and has now been signed up by an agency.”

Brooke on set with Colin Morgan and Amy James Kelly.

Keeping her feet on the ground amid the excitement of her new-found fame will be an easy task with the support of her community and her school.

“When returning to school after lockdown Brooke had days off due to filming but the BBC always liaised so well with the school,” said Kirsty.

“Brooke is a very independent, intelligent girl and likes a good routine. She was thrilled when her teacher, Mrs Convery sent work via Seesaw and was always keen to get the tasks completed.

“We are so proud and it has been an emotional journey as I have been involved in the Arts for many years and know how challenging it can be.

“It’s all such an amazing experience and the opportunities it has opened for her have been remarkable. I am so privileged that we get to go on this journey together as mother and daughter.

“We are bursting with pride.”

'Three Families' is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

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