Flatley: New show a dream come true
Michael Flatley has described his new show's run at the London Palladium as "a dream come true".
The 56-year-old showman is on the cusp of performing what he says will be his last ever West End shows in Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games - a production he says his fan base will find "nearly unrecognisable".
The show features Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle who sings the title track.
Flatley, who rose to fame as a 35-year-old during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest when Riverdance was performed in Dublin in 1994, said he "worked so hard, for so many years".
At a sneak preview of his latest show in the central London theatre, he added: "I have, maybe, a handful of dancers that have made it to 30, and probably two that lasted to 35, in my whole 20 years, which should tell you everything.
"To say I'm long in the tooth is an understatement. But I love it. It's who I am. It's what I do.
"I couldn't get a job. I never could get hired as a dancer so I created my own shows. Once I got past Eurovision we were off to the races."
Flatley, who was born in Chicago, said his focus now is on "creating new young stars".
The dancer, who is no longer associated with Riverdance, described the show as "a blessing", but said he thinks that while it was "fabulous" at the time, it is "outdated" now.
He added: "The average person on the street still sees me as Mister Riverdance."
Flatley said Riverdance and Lord of the Dance are like "day and night". Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is going on a UK and world tour after its run at the Palladium, including dates in Belfast and Dublin, while Riverdance is going on a 20th anniversary UK tour.
Asked if the two shows were going head to head, Flatley said: "I don't see that. Going head to head with myself?"
The leading man said he would not consider doing a TV show to find stars for his show in the style of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
"I don't like television," he said. Flatley said the London Palladium is a venue he has always wanted to play.
"It's a dream come true for me," he said.
Meanwhile, Londonderry-born Coyle said it is a "huge honour" to be part of Flatley's show.
The singer said she tried Irish dancing as a child but was put off when she lost at a competition and did not return to the classes.
"I was a loser when it came to the Irish dancing," she joked.
Coyle, who is based in the US, gave birth to a baby girl called Anaiya in January.