Derek Ryan looks forward to Christmas

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Country music sensation Derek Ryan will be back on the road again next year, with dates including the Ulster Hall in Belfast on February 8. Market Place Theatre in Armagh on February 6 and 7, and The Burnavon in Cookstown on February 20 and 21.

The Hits concert tour 2020 features the Irish country singer’s biggest songs and fan-favourites, as well as classic hits that have made him one of Ireland’s best-selling country singer/songwriters.

But before the tour kicks off in the New Year, Derek is looking forward to a relaxing Christmas and took time to share some of his favourite festive memories with the News Letter.

Looking back on the best Christmas present he ever received, Derek recalled: “I was given a little drum kit when I was four. It was the best musical instrument that I got my hands on. My cousin got the same kit too and we were both banging away on the drums. It was in 1985/1986 and we had a cassette tape of one of those ‘Now Hits’ compilations. So we were playing along to the songs on it. I would say that my parents soon regretted getting me that drum kit!”

But that isn’t his first fond memory of Christmas. “My earliest Christmas memory is getting a Tommy train kit,” he revealed. “I was probably about three years old. I will remember that morning forever. It was just such a really happy time and my excitement was through the roof.”

And Derek still loves Christmas just as much today as he did when he was a child. “I think it’s just catching up with friends and family,” he continued. “We live in such a busy world these days, we might not see friends from one end of the year to the other. So it’s lovely to sit down, relax, have a chat with loved ones.”

Looking forward to 2020, as well as embarking on his concert tour, Derek is also pledging to get out and about more. “Last year I promised myself I would climb a few mountains here in Ireland,” he explained. “I love the outdoors. I’m proud to say I stayed true to the resolution and climbed Mt Brandon, Croagh Patrick, Mt Errigal and Slieve League Cliffs. I’ll put a few more on the list for 2020.” Thanking his fans for all their support this year, Derek added: “It always amazes me the crowds we see at our gigs - be it dances, concerts or festivals. I’m very grateful to follow my two passions: songwriting and performing, whilst making a living doing it. It’s a dream come true. Wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.”

For a full list of concert dates and to book tickets, visit www.derekryanmusic.com