IRISH Country singer Derek Ryan is about to embark on a UK tour, which will take him across Scotland and England next year.
This week he took some time out of his busy schedule to talk all things Christmas...
WHAT IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“I was given a little drum kit when I was four. It was the best musical instrument that I got my hands on. My cousin got the same kit too and we were both banging away on the drums. It was in 1985/1986 and we had a cassette tape of one of those ‘Now Hits’ compilations. So we were playing along to the songs on it. I would say that my parents soon regretted getting me that drum kit!”
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS MEMORY?
“My earliest Christmas memory is getting a Tommy train kit. I was probably about 3 years old. I remember I was allowed to stay at home from Mass on Christmas morning and set the train kit up with Mammy. I will remember that morning forever. It was just such a really happy time and my excitement was through the roof.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO AT CHRISTMAS?
“I think it's just catching up with friends and family. We live in such a busy world these days, we might not see friends from one end of the year to the other. So it's lovely just to sit down, relax have a chat with loved ones.”
‘YES’ OR ‘NO’ TO BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER?
“Absolute yes. I love them, although I don't eat them any other time of the year!”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
“It would have to be ‘Fairytale Of New York’. It's just a great song, any time of the year. It's one of those songs that makes me emotional at Christmas. It tugs at the heartstrings, and reminds us that Christmas isn't always a joyous time for everybody. My favourite hymn is ‘O Holy Night’ - I sing it every Christmas Eve in my local Church”.
IF YOU COULD BE IN ANY CHRISTMAS MOVIE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“…..Who doesn’t want to be the kid in Home Alone?”
DO YOU EVER MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?
“I do, last year I promised myself I would climb a few mountains here in Ireland. I love the outdoors. I'm proud to say I stayed true to the resolution and climbed Mt Brandon, Croagh Patrick, Mt Errigal and Slieve League Cliffs. I'll put a few more on the list for 2020”.
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS?
“It's sharing time with family, remembering the people who are no longer with us, relaxing and being at peace. Our job is so hectic with so much travelling, it's nice to switch off for a couple of days and stay in the one place. Although come Boxing Day we are back on the road… so it’s a short rest for us!”
DO YOU HAVE A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FOR YOUR FANS?
“A big thank you for all your support in 2019. It always amazes me the crowds we see at our gigs - be it dances, concerts or festivals. I'm very grateful to follow my two passions: songwriting and performing, whilst making a living doing it. It's a dream come true.
Wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year”.
Derek Ryan embarks on his UK ‘The Hits’ Concert Tour 2020 in March and September 2020. Tickets and listings available here.