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co. down

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With Game of Thrones and Star Wars both filming here last year, it seems that Ireland is becoming even more popular when it comes to films and TV shows.

And now The Disney Channel wants a piece of the action. The network is currently filming a new musical TV show in Northern Ireland in hopes it will become as popular as High School Musical.

The show titled The Lodge is set in Montalto Estate in County Down but it's also setting its sights on Castlewellan and Tollymore Forest.

David Levine, director of programming for the Disney Channel in the UK and Ireland said: “Northern Ireland has a great production pool and up until now it has been mostly known for swords and dragons.

“Disney Channel is bringing songs and dancing – we have a great, talented cast who can not only act but sing and dance and we have original songs.”

“We’re investing quite a bit, and you have production, post-production, builders, sets and filming in multiple locations here.”

The Lodge will film in Co Down until this summer, with it set to air on Disney in September. 

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A young Co Down couple have drowned while on honeymoon in South Africa. The bodies of the 28-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were found on a beach at Plettenberg Bay yesterday. 

The Irish Mirror has named them as Lynette and John Rodgers. Heartbreakingly, they married at Ballygally Castle Hotel in Co Antrim just six days before their deaths.

Lynette was a physiotherapist from the town of Holywood, while John was from Ballygowan and worked for an office supplies business in Belfast. 

They arrived in South Africa on Tuesday.

The Plettenberg Bay area is a popular tourist resort, though it is also known for strong rip-current in the surrounding waters. Rescue workers said sea conditions at the time were rough, reports the BBC.

A local raised the alarm at about 6pm yesterday after discovering John's body in shallow surf on the beach.

RTE adds that two women strolling along the same strand found Lynette's body around 200metres away.

South African authorities state that doctors unsuccessfully performed CPR on the couple, also explaining: "It is suspected that they drowned. Sea conditions were rough with strong rip currents in the vicinity.

"Police have opened an inquest docket and although no foul play is suspected."

Lynette’s widowed mother, Eva Reilly, is now making arrangements to have the couple’s bodies returned to Northern Ireland.

A family friend told the Irish Mirror: “It’s such a sorrowful, terrible, devastating day," adding "they were both healthy, both decent swimmers and both very physically fit but the tide was just too much for them.

"Our dear Lynette and the love of her life John, died a day short of their first week of married life.

"In their wedding vows they promised to be by each other’s side in good times and in bad but they could never have imagined this."

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Oh, the single ladies at Flora Montgomery and Soren Jessen's wedding in Co. Down last Saturday must have been DE-lighted when they spotted the one and only Orlando Bloom walk in – without a date!

The Lord of the Rings star celebrated with his friends at Greyabbey grounds, and even had a few drinks in a local pub in Donaghdee – which surprised a few locals!

He was the perfect gentlemen when asked him to stop for a photo too, which is always a sign of a good celebrity:

We have to say, he looked very happy and relaxed on the day – perhaps safe in the knowledge that there would be no chance of that pesky Justin Bieber turning up!

He wasn’t the only star out socialising in Ireland either – Outkast were spotted in the queue for Coppers on Saturday night too!

Why, oh why did we choose to have a cosy Staurday night in this weekend?!

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