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Relatively Speaking: Jordan O Keefe

We ask personalities about the special family relationships in their lives

By Stephanie Bell

Londonderry musician Jordan O'Keefe shot to fame this year on hit TV show Britain's Got Talent, where it emerged his father had changed his college course from music to business studies. He lives with his parents Paul and Deborah and has two brothers, Aaron (32) and Andrew (23)

Name: Jordan O'Keefe

Age: 19

Occupation: Musician

Relationship: Son of Paul

Even though dad took some flak during Britain's Got Talent when they revealed he had changed my college course from music to business studies, he has always been supportive.

He is a very hardworking person, who never says never.

He grew up with nothing and is a self-made man.

He was worried when I applied to study music – he thought that it wasn't a very safe career and just wanted me to be secure, but I did business studies for two years and don't regret it.

My dad is massively supportive of me now and comes to most of my gigs. If I ever need anyone to talk to, or have any problems, he is there for me.

The show made it out that he was a bad guy and I felt sorry for him. He got really emotional every time he saw me perform on BGT and I'd never seen him like that in my life.

He is not a bad guy, he was doing the right thing and he is so happy for me now – and proud.

I've been gigging a lot since I did BGT. I did a tour of Northern Ireland and then England and have done backing for some big bands such as JLS and Professor Green.

I'm going to Poland this week to do a few things, as apparently I have a big following there, and I'll be doing some concerts out there next month.

I started recording my first album last week and hope to work on it in the New Year.

I have backing from a businessman who is linked to a Premier League soccer club and he has contacts with Universal who, we hope, will produce it, so it's all good.

I'm also involved in a schools project called The Enterprise Factor and I will be visiting a few local schools before Christmas to sing some songs with the children who have put on their own concerts.

It's an exciting time, and we will just have to see what happens, and if the album takes off.


Name: Paul O'Keefe

Age: 55

Occupation: Managing director, Paul O'Keefe Estate Agency and Financial Services

Relationship: Father of Jordan

I remember Jordan when he was about four years old lifting a guitar belonging to a friend and starting to strum it. It was a really expensive guitar and we nearly had a heart attack but my friend was taken aback by how naturally he held it.

We bought him his first small guitar when he was eight. Up until then he was really into watching movies, then rewinding and acting out parts from them – he could do it to perfection.

I had a friend, called Danny McGilloway, who was a very talented traditional Irish musician who started to give Jordan guitar lessons when he was 10. I remember he had some musicians who were in their 30s down for a session and Jordan blew them out of the water.

When he went to Oakgrove Integrated College, in Derry, the staff there really helped develop his confidence and musical talent.

After homework, five nights a week he would practice from about 4-11pm and then all day Sunday. I did change his college course from music to business studies because I wanted security for him. I suppose I didn't realise just how talented he was.

The abuse I took when it came out on BGT was incredible, although mostly it was people winding me up.

When he reached the semi-finals of BGT I was bursting with pride. He always wanted to get to the final, and watching him in the semis, I knew he'd make it.

Jordan hasn't changed a bit. He was always very loving and caring and very personable.

He has a good team of people around him and a very good manager and I'm over the moon for him that he is living his dream.

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