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All The Best: Brian Kennedy

We ask local personalities what are their most favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 47-year-old singer-songwriter from Belfast is known for hit recordings such as You Raise Me Up, and Life, Love and Happiness. In 2006 he represented Ireland at the Eurovision song Contest. He currently lives in Dublin

My best moment

It's that moment when you finish the recording of an album and you know you've done the best work you can. It only lasts for about five minutes!

My best song

That's a hard question but I'm currently loving playing Christopher Street live. I also love Joni Mitchell's music, she's inspired my new album, A Love Letter To Joni.

My best way to relax

I love cooking for my closest friends with a glass of good red wine.

My best job

I get to be a singer for a living. it's my favourite job in the world. I did have other jobs when I was a teenager but they were they horrible things you do when you're that age. One thing I enjoyed was busking outside the City Hall in Belfast. It's something I still do occasionally for charity.

My best gift

I toured with Joni Mitchell in America in 1998, along with Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. Right at the end of the tour Joni gave me a beautiful signed artist's print of a lithograph of the cover of her album, Taming The Tiger. It was the very first print of the whole lithograph. It now hangs in my study at home and I treasure it.

My best achievement

Creating my own record label and putting out my last two albums myself. It's not for the faint-hearted but it's worth it. It was time for me to do it, as I've made records for record companies before, but the days of getting big support have gone. You now need to become a little industry yourself. I'm very proud of it and it means I can make the records I want to make.

My best buy

Hopefully my house, in about 10 years' time when the market has recovered from the recession and it will have been a good investment.

It can be a hub for friends and family, that's what happens when you have a big-ish house. I'm very proud of it and passionate about interior design so when I took part in Celebrity Come Dine With Me I was the only person who filmed it in their own house. I'm a big homebird when I'm not on the road so my house is everything to me.

The best bit of advice anyone has ever given to you

Get on with your short life! That was from myself to myself.

My best movie

The Wizard of Oz – I absolutely love this film and I don't think there's anyone who doesn't. I can remember how it seemed that my childhood went from black and white to colour and to see that in a movie is just brilliant. It really is an incredible film.

My best book

Alternative Ulsters by BBC journalist Mark Carruthers. I'm a big reader and have published two novels myself. It can be quite fitful, though – sometimes I don't stop reading and other times I don't pick up a book.

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Brian will be performing two intimate shows at the Cabaret Supper Club in Belfast on January 23 & 24. For details, visit www.cabaretbelfast.com

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