Belfast Telegraph

Boost for flute band contest as Wagner drums up support

By Cate McCurry

An unlikely figure has been drumming up online support for the Shankill Road Defenders Melody Flute Band competition.

The Belfast band has enlisted the help of former X Factor favourite Wagner to help promote its upcoming contest.

The talent show finalist has urged people to flock to Carrickfergus for the event this Saturday.

In a Facebook video uploaded to his social media page, Wagner said: "Everyone come to Carrickfergus for the Shankill Road Defenders Melody Flute competition.

"Enjoy some of the top bands from across Northern Ireland and Scotland and an evening of culture. Happy 60th anniversary. United we stand."

He rounds off the short Facebook video with a verse of the Cliff Richard favourite, Congratulations.

The video has been viewed over 28,000 times since it was posted two days ago. Alongside the footage, Wagner tells viewers to 'inbox' his page to pre-order a video if they want to promote an event.

This is part of his recorded greeting service which the retired PE teacher and karate enthusiast now offers for people on Facebook - usually for birthdays.

Following Wagner's event promotion, the flute band shared the video saying: "A short message and a bit of fun from Wagner."

The message was well received by the band's members, with many describing it as "brilliant".

Wagner first hit TV screens back in 2010 during the seventh series of talent show The X Factor.

He was brought back onto the show as a wildcard, making it to week eight before being voted out.

Back in 2015 Wagner had to apologise after singing an infamous IRA chant while performing a cover version of the Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony, saying he wasn't aware of the meaning behind the words. He claimed at the time he was unaware of the meaning of the words "Oo-ahh, up the Ra" after being asked to record it as a birthday message.

The Shankill Road Defenders' 60th Anniversary and annual melody flute contest will take place on Saturday, October 14, in Carrickfergus Town Hall.

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