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Daniel O'Donnell: 'I just wish mum was here to see me on Strictly, she'd have loved it'

BySharon McGowan

Singer Daniel O'Donnell has admitted he's disappointed his mother won't see him compete on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 53-year-old star was last week revealed as the eighth celebrity to compete in the show and, while he's delighted to show off his moves, Daniel's disappointed his mother Julia isn't alive to see him perform.

She died last year aged 94 and Daniel said that it will be upsetting not having her in the crowd cheering him on.

"My mother would have loved it. She was very supportive and got great fun out of everything I did, as she did with everyone else in the family," he said.

"If I didn't win Strictly and she was still around, she'd say, 'oh you were robbed', so I'll miss her feedback.

"If it was any other year I couldn't have done it because I always perform a residency in Branson, Missouri, at that time of year, so maybe my mother had a hand in it."

The Donegal heart-throb has been eyeing up his competition for the female fans' attention on the show.

"Several people have told me that Peter Andre has a six-pack," Daniel said. "I just have a one-pack at the moment, so I'll have to work on that."

Although he proved he has the moves when he performed at the 2015 Rose of Tralee, the Danny Boy singer will have to work on his stamina to conquer Strictly.

"They insist you do at least 12 hours' training a week, and that's over four days because the fifth and sixth are rehearsals and then the show," he said.

"Three hours a day dancing is quite a lot for somebody that doesn't dance, and we will probably be doing more than that."

The intense training regime will mean Daniel will have to leave his beloved Donegal while he appears on the show, but he told the Sunday World that his wife Majella will be by his side.

"She'll come over and join me in London and we can spend some time together.

"Afterwards we're both going on a cruise from next January to March with nothing to bother us."

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