‘Talking turkey’ with Derek is fantastic because he just loves celebrating a ‘cracker’ of a Christmas with his beloved family and friends. For a change though, this festive season will see the Carlow man hang up his microphone for a few days and put his feet up to enjoy the festive season. But doting Derek will also be making sure his mum – recovering from a bout of ill-health – doesn’t worry about the festive food on the Ryan family table this Christmas Day.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST CHRISTMAS MEMORY?
Derek: “My earliest Christmas memory is getting a Tomy train kit. I was so small that I can’t really remember what age I was. But maybe I was about three-years-old. What I particularly remember is that I was allowed to stay at home from mass on Christmas morning and set the train kit up with mammy. I will remember that forever. It was just such a really happy time and my excitement was unbelievable!”
Q. WHAT IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
Derek: “I was given a little drum kit when I was four. It was the first 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 probably in 1985 or 1986 and we had a cassette tape of one of those Now hits compilations. So we were playing along to the songs on it and I would say that my parents soon regretted getting me that drum kit!”
Q. WHERE WILL YOU SPEND CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR?
Derek: “I will be going home to my folks. My mam is just recovering from an operation. She had a heart by-pass. It is all good, but it will take time. So we are all making sure we will be around for her – me, my brother, sister and my niece and nephew.
“On Christmas Eve, me, my brother and dad sing in our local church like what we have done for the last twenty years. We have seen the congregation growing over time and now the church is full. Maybe we would want to be selling tickets for it!
Q. HAVE YOU EVER COOKED A FULL CHRISTMAS DINNER?
Derek: “I have never cooked a full Christmas dinner before. But do you know what? With mam not being well, we are giving her a break. We were going to go to a local hotel instead. But then I said ‘no, we will cook the turkey, ham, brussel sprouts, stuffing and the whole traditional ‘shebang’. I am going to learn very quickly. It will be a first!”
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CHOCOLATES AND TIPPLE AT CHRISTMAS TIME?
Derek: “I suppose the old traditional Roses is the big favourite in our house. I go for the strawberry ones. So, I am always digging for those in the tin!
“I also like mulled wine. I am actually very traditional when it comes to stuff at Christmas. Afterwards I like a few beers and then, like everybody else, fall asleep after dinner!”
Q. WHAT PRESENT DO YOU HOPE SANTA WILL BRING YOU THIS CHRISTMAS?
Derek: “In my family, we buy one present each for someone else. My niece does the draw and she loves doing that. We just think that sometimes people can waste silly amounts of money. So we like to keep it nice and simple. At the end of the day, I have my health and I have my career. So I am a happy man.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
Derek: “That would have to be Oh Holy Night by a country mile. I think that Celine Dion does an absolutely amazing version of it. I also like Michael Buble’s Christmas album. Not many people can pull off an album like that. But he has brought it to a new level. There is also a song by Garth Brooks called Belleau Woods. It is about World War One and how the opposing soldiers stopped fighting at 12 o’ clock on Christmas Eve for a few minutes and sang Silent Night. It is so beautiful.”
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TELLY SHOWS AT CHRISTMAS?
Derek: “I just love all the Irish stuff like the Father Ted Christmas special or Kilnascully or Mrs Brown’s Boys. All those types of shows keep us laughing in the Ryan household at Christmas.”
Q. WHAT IS YOUR SEASONAL MESSAGE TO YOUR FANS?
Derek: “The most important thing by far this Christmas is to say ‘thank you very much for all of the support you have given to me and my music throughout the last year’.
“Also I want to say ‘if you are travelling to gigs over the Christmas and winter period, please take your time and stay safe’. I wish everybody a happy and healthy New Year as well.”
Get yourself into the festive spirit and download Derek’s Christmas single, featuring Sharon Shannon, ‘Christmas Time Again’ (All Over Again) via iTunes.
For more information and for all media enquiries contact Amie at Rising PR on 028 8676 2946 (ROI 048) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org