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All the best: James Huish discusses his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 41-year-old is a singer and theatre director who lives in Newtownards. He is divorced and has two sons, Toby (10) and Logan (6).

My best moment

Singing on stage with Neil Finn from Crowded House. I joined him on tour as a session musician when I was just 18 - which was impressive enough as he is my favourite musician. Fall At Your Feet is a favourite song of mine, so the best moment was when Neil motioned me over to the microphone, and let me lead sing the whole song.

My best song

After Fall At Your Feet I enjoy singing Cry Me A River. It's a big bang song that uses your full vocal range which makes it incredible to sing.

My best way to relax

Spending time with my children. I'm divorced and I have the boys three days a week, so I make sure I'm not working. This means I get to spend quality time with them, so we can do things together.

My best job

While I've always been a singer the thing I enjoy more than that is directing musicals. I've worked on two this year - Ghost and Les Miserables at the Grand Opera House.

My best bit of advice

Never let anyone tell you that you can't. I never thought I would make a full-time living out of being a singer or get to direct musicals. The advice comes from my dad who is a musician, too, so he never tried to stop me pursuing a career in music. I teach children and theatre and some of the parents I meet think music is just a hobby, not a job, which is terrible.

My best movie

The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favourite films because it makes a positive from a negative.

My best gift

For Christmas last year my boys made a piece of art from Scrabble letters and had it framed. It said James, Toby, Logan and Family. It's up on the wall now.

My best achievement

I took Toby skating at Dundonald Ice Bowl and noticed how physically demanding it was. As I hate going to the gym I've started skating every morning after I take the kids to school. Since then I've started taking lessons with an American figure skater here - now I'm a grade five.

My best buy

There are a few things. The best experience I ever spent money on was taking Toby to New York for his birthday - Logan was too young - we got backstage into lots of Broadway musicals. He absolutely loved that. When it comes to something for myself it's my iMac computer for recording music and managing my diary, and a Taylor 412CE acoustic guitar which is worth more than my car.

My best book

Barack Obama's autobiography, Dreams From My Father. It's absolutely fascinating to discover where he came from; on paper he was never, ever going to be the American President but he was determined. I think everyone should read it.

  • James will be hosting a Christmas Spectacular at the Grand Opera House in Belfast on Sunday, December 18 at 7.30pm. Visit goh.co.uk for tickets and more information on the James Huish Christmas Spectacular. Tickets cost from £18.75

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