Show must go on for Mary
Singer Mary Byrne has revealed she has sought the advice of arthritis experts to get through a gruelling concert tour.
The 51-year-old has rheumatoid arthritis in both her knees but will have to perform in dozens of shows on the 'X Factor' tour until April.
Speaking before the opening night in Birmingham last night, the mother-of one said she could struggle to make it through the lengthy tour, which includes five shows in Dublin's O2 next week.
"It's going to be hard, very hard because of my arthritis," she told the Irish Independent.
"That's why I got in touch with Arthritis Ireland, who have given me all sorts of creams and advice about how to ease the pain. But I've promised myself the arthritis is not going to get the better off me. I'm going to keep the show on the road, no matter what."
The Ballyfermot woman said the highlight will be the homecoming concerts in Dublin where she will perform alongside fellow finalists, including show winner Matt Cardle, boyband One Direction, Wagner, Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd.
"I'm half terrified about Dublin because it will be my first arena show in Ireland," she said. "I don't know what that's going to be like. I'm just hoping when I walk out onto that stage in the 02, the crowd get behind me. I'm going to try and turn it into Downey's pub in Ballyfermot on a good Saturday night."
Included in her set will be songs from her forthcoming debut album 'Mine & Yours', which is out on March 25 and has been produced by legendary producer and orchestrator Nigel Wright.
The album also includes two songs, 'I Call You Mine' and 'Galileo', by fellow Dubliner and acclaimed songwriter Declan O'Rourke, who was previously championed by her manager Louis Walsh.
Another track, she claimed, told her life story.
"I'd rather not say which one," she said. "It was written by someone else but when I heard the lyrics, they spoke to me as if they were my own words. It really is my song and tells my story."