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Derek Ryan: 'When I told my parents my album hit No.1 I cried'

Country star invites fans into luxury home for Beeb

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FAME: Derek Ryan

FAME: Derek Ryan

BBC NI

FAME: Derek Ryan

Country music star Derek Ryan was so overwhelmed when his first album made it to number one that he cried when telling his parents.

In a touching moment on a new show to be screened on the BBC tomorrow night, the 34-year-old candidly admits he broke down when he realised he was on the road to stardom.

In a special edition of Keepin' 'er Country at Home, the star invites fans into his beautiful new luxury house in Fermanagh and shares many intimate moments from his career.

Viewers hear first-hand about the many twists and turns on his journey from teen boy band idol to pub singer and then country music star.

The show, which marks 10 years on the road for the Carlow singer, sees him get together with his band for the first time in a year to perform a socially distanced virtual gig.

In a poignant look back at his success on the country music scene, he talks about his joy at how proud he made his mum Sally, who he lost in July 2018.

He says: "When I rang them (his parents) - and I will never forget it - I was number one in the Irish charts with The Simple Things album and I'm not ashamed to say it but I actually cried. "I will never forget it to be honest, she (his mum) was so proud of me."

Derek reveals how he wrote his hit song, To Waltz with My Mother Again on the very day of her death and performed it for the first time to standing ovations a few days later.

He says: "On the tour I sang it every night to standing ovations from Belfast to Killarney. It helped me a lot because I could pay tribute to her every night on stage and I felt she was there with me every night.

"There was a feeling the room on certain nights and it really would give you goose bumps."

As well as giving fans a glimpse of his beautiful Enniskillen home which he moved into last year, Derek opens boxes of memorabilia which viewers get to see for the first time, including pictures and magazine articles from his boy band years.

He enjoyed a brief period of stardom as a pop star in the early 90s with the boy band D-Side who appeared twice on Top of the Pops.

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Derek Ryan in boyband D-Side

Derek Ryan in boyband D-Side

Derek Ryan in boyband D-Side

Derek raises a smile when he reveals how surprised he was when a girl in the audience passed him her phone number as he performed on the Top of the Pops stage.

God's Plan - a song that has accompanied many brides down the aisle - gave him his big break and he reveals how reinventing himself as a country singer felt like returning to his roots as he was raised on Irish traditional and country music.

In tomorrow night's show, we also see footage of the moment Derek provided the live soundtrack for an unusual marriage proposal - in a stable.

As well as performing with his own band to a virtual audience, there is a unique virtual duet with accordion virtuoso Sharon Shannon.

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Sharon Shannon

Sharon Shannon

Sharon Shannon

Keepin' 'er Country at Home: Derek Ryan is on BBC One tomorrow at 10.30pm. Also on iPlayer

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