Daniel O'Donnell hoping for Irish eyes to smile on him

Suzanne McGonagle
25 September, 2015 01:01

DONEGAL crooner Daniel O'Donnell will be hoping Irish eyes are smiling on him as he takes to the Strictly dance floor for the first time to that very tune.

The Kincasslagh country star and partner Kristina Rihanoff will dance the waltz to Ruby Murray's version of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

Six couples will dance on Friday night, while the remaining nine - including Daniel - will take to the dance floor the following night.

The celebrity and professional dancer pairings have spent the past two weeks rehearsing for their debut dance on the BBC One series.

O'Donnell, usually more accustomed to singing the popular song When Irish Eyes Are Smiling to his devoted fans, will waltz his way onto the dance floor instead.

The song was a hit for Belfast's Ruby Murray, who was one of the biggest singing sensations of the 1950s.

She was born on the Donegall Road in south Belfast in 1955.

Pictures shared on social media of the Irish singer, affectionately known as both 'Wee Daniel' nad 'Our Daniel' show him enjoying the Strictly Come Dancing experience.

He is understood to have struck up an "unlikely bromance" with bookies' favourite Peter Andre.

It has been reported they "clicked straight away" and have "a lot of respect for each other and there was a lot of banter on set".

Peter Andre has shared selfies on social media of the pair of them along with other Strictly dancers at rehearsals.


With the awesome @carolkirkwood and wonderful Daniel O'Donnell

A photo posted by Peter Andre (@pj_andre) on

Andre is set to dance the cha cha with partner Janette Manrana to Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man.

Other dancers who will be strutting their stuff on the Strictly dance floor this weekend include former Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote and partner Giovanni Pernice, who will be dancing the Jive to Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor.

Newsreader Jeremy Vine will dance the cha cha to the song September by Earth, Wind and Fire alongside partner Karen Clifton.

Many believe he will be among the first to exit the competition.

BBC weather presenter Carol Kirkwood will also be keeping things up tempo dancing the cha cha to Thunder in My Heart by Leo Sayer.

Boxer Anthony Ogogo and his partner Oti Mabuse, who have been forced to deny rumours they had a falling out in rehearsals, will dance the jive to Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Actress Helen George will waltz with Aljaz Skorjanec to With You I’m Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright and Kirsty Gallacher and Brendan Cole to Vincent by Don McLean.

The judges, Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood, will give their scores, but there will be no public vote and no elimination.

However, their scores will be carried over to next week.

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One at 9pm on Friday and 6.15pm on Saturday.

25 September, 2015 01:01 News

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