Arts Q&A: Mike Denver on Ringo Starr, George Jones and Garth Brooks

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week Irish country singer Mike Denver

Galway country singer Mike Denver returns to celebrate 15 years on the entertainment scene with a new Irish tour

1. When did you think about a career in comedy and what were your first steps into it?

I began playing the accordion and guitar in primary school. At home there was always country music playing. My mam was involved in music and I would have grown up listening to her sing and watching her head off to gigs at the weekends. I started to go with her as a teenager and would get up and sing a song or two. I loved performing so much it just went from there.

2. Best gigs you've been to? George Strait, in the T Mobile Area in Las Vegas last year. In September I saw Ringo Starr and his all star band in Radio City, New York. His band included Steve Lukather, a fantastic guitarist and member of Toto; ex-Men At Work man Colin Hay and the great Graham Gouldman from 10CC. My other highlight is hearing the great late legend George Jones in the Ryman auditorium, Nashville. I later went on to record a duet with him also was a dream come true.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? Garth Brooks.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island? A county music mix record with all the greats on it, including Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks.

5. And the book? I'm not a fan of reading books so I'd save the room in my bag for a guitar instead.

6. Top three films? Champ, Rocky and The Shawshank Redemption.

7. Worst film you've seen? The Human Centipede – it's so weird and messed up.

8. Favourite authors? I don't have any. Maybe when my schedule settles down a little I will have more time to sit and try to actually read a book

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? I have always loved GAA and golf. I support our local Portumna GAA team and Galway hurling.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Las Vegas. I have been many times and love it there. It has the best in hotels, food and entertainment and it's open 24 hours a day.

11. Pet hate? When people jump queues.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Roast chicken.

Dessert? Chocolate fondant or crème brulee.

Drink? Heinekin.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? Elizabeth, my wife

14. Is there a God. I believe there is.

:: Mike Denver will play Derry's Millennium Forum on January 17, Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan on January 27, Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh on February 8 and Armagh City Hotel on March 8. For full list of venues and dates visit

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