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Celtic crooner wows Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 05:26 18 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

A LITTLE piece of Ireland came to the Ipswich Regent last night as Celtic crooner Daniel O'Donnell wooed a full house on his opening night.

Fans who queued overnight for tickets last November were rewarded with a smooth dose of love songs and sweet-talking from the 41-year-old singer.

A LITTLE piece of Ireland came to the Ipswich Regent last night as Celtic crooner Daniel O'Donnell wooed a full house on his opening night.

Fans who queued overnight for tickets last November were rewarded with a smooth dose of love songs and sweet-talking from the 41-year-old singer.

Daniel, who appeared on a pop-up podium, opened with Stand Beside Me - one of his first ever singles.

Addressing the crowd he lamented the weather in Ipswich.

“My goodness isn't it awful cold outside. Isn't it cruel? But it's plenty warm in here,” he soothed.

The green-eyed charmer, wearing a crisp grey suit and polished black shoes, had the ladies in the audience giggling and blushing as he delivered a few good “cracks”.

Our own EADT photographer came in for a ribbing as Daniel quipped: “Are you from the East Anglican?”.

He then launched into a comic routine, adopting silly poses for our snapper, raising his leg at funny angles.

“Oops, don't put a caption on that one 'Daniel laying an egg',” he joked.

Daniel gave a seamless three-hour show of easy listening and country tunes, delighting his loyal fans.

He is accompanied on tour by fellow singer Mary Duff, from Co Meath, Ireland.

The fairer sex outnumbered the men in the Regent Theatre audience by a long stretch but some husbands admitted to sharing a passion for Daniel's music.

Mick Britton, 58, had come with his wife, Shirley, 56, from Downham Market. The couple have followed the singer's career for 15 years, collecting every one of his videos.

Mick said: “Shirley used to take a rose to every concert for him.”

“He's just such a nice sort of person. He appeals to everyone, his music is very easy listening,” Shirley added.

Margaret Compton, 68, from Swallow Road, Ipswich, also admitted to being a devotee.

She added: “I've been to see him at the Albert Hall and to all his concerts in Ipswich. I just find him so relaxing.”

Speaking before the show, Daniel said he was very pleased to be back in Ipswich, where he can always be sure of a warm reception.

He added: “I've been playing here since the 1980s. We tour all over the country but we always get a good turn out here.”

O'Donnell MBE, who has sold more than five million albums and 1.5m videos, is known for remembering the names of fans and sometimes going to extreme lengths to answer requests in person.

He often spends almost as much time greeting fans once the show is over as he does on stage.

He said: “I do get a lot of letters but if I can answer them, I will,” he said.

He was looking forward to breaking his tour to film a television show in America, before returning to more UK performances, including the Royal Albert Hall, finishing in his home town of Kincasslagh, Co Donegal, Ireland, in September.

Daniel's first ever US television special, which went out earlier in the year, showed him on location in picturesque Killarney delivering up a familiar blend of easy listening and country music.

Daniel, who married Majella McClelland, a 41-year-old mother of two, in November last year, was unwilling to talk about family plans.

Asked if children were on the cards, the singer replied: “I don't know about those things. It is all in God's hands.”

The good news is there are still a few tickets up for grabs for tonight and tomorrow. Get in early on (01473) 433100.


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