COUNTRY music star Nathan Carter has revealed how the death of a close friend and the coronavirus pandemic have made him reassess his priorities.
The Enniskillen-based country singer said the loss of friend and mentor Nicky James, plus the impact of Covid-19, have given him a new perspective on life.
"This year especially it's been a pretty terrible year for everybody. In particular I lost one of my best friends earlier this year, a friend of mine named Nicky James who was basically my mentor throughout my career singing-wise.
"He used to get me gigs and, as I say, mentor me since I was a kid and he passed away earlier this year," Nathan says in the new BBC series Keepin 'er Country at Home.
"Then this (Covid-19) kicked off and it definitely has made me realise that life isn't all about work.
"It's not all about it, whether you're into gigging or whether you're a sportsman. We can get very one-minded and tunnel-visioned on our career and it's not all about that.
"There's no point in working that hard if you can't sit back to enjoy it."
Now called Keepin 'er Country at Home thanks to lockdown rules, the BBC show returns to our screens for a new four-part mini-series on Friday night.
Nathan (30) is the first musician to be featured on the new programme and walks viewers around his Fermanagh home before performing a special online gig for a select group of superfans.
During the virtual tour, the Wagon Wheel warbler takes us through his favourite features of the house, his recording studio and some of his favourite snaps with celebs.
"This is a collage of pictures I was given as a present a few years ago and has pictures of people I've met along the way, like the late, great Sir Terry Wogan," he said.
"That was me on BBC Radio 2 when we performed on his morning show, this is Ricky Tomlinson and Charlie Landsborough from Liverpool. I wrote a song called The Boat To Liverpool and the lads are in the video with me so that was a great memory. There's a couple of country singers on this, obviously Kenny Rogers and Brad Paisley, but up until now no one knew this isn't really Willie Nelson.
"This is a fake Willie, this is an impersonator but no one knew until now. I've let yous into a little secret."
Since lockdown began, little brother Jake Carter and his dancer girlfriend Karen Byrne have been living with Nathan at his Fermanagh home - and the brothers have spent their time recreating viral TikTok videos and jamming together.
Despite enjoying the time spent with his younger sibling, Nathan says he is looking forward to seeing his fans again.
He added: "Do you know what? That there has given me a new lease of life and given me something to look forward to. I mean it's great doing them video calls with everybody but you can't beat a real gig and I cannot wait until the day that I can get out and do a proper performance with the band, on stage, in front of a big crowd. Can't wait!"
Keepin 'er Country at Home is on BBC One NI at 8pm this Friday.