Daniel's fans head North in support of their man as 'Strictly' makes its return
Published 07/09/2015 | 02:30
Fans of Daniel O'Donnell are literally going the extra mile to make sure the singer comes out top in the 'Strictly Come Dancing' hit TV show.
The Donegal singer (53) made his dancing debut on Saturday night when he took part in a group dance alongside his partner Kristina Rihanoff for the series launch.
The star has previously spoken of his nerves ahead of the series and, although he looked assured on the night, he will face an uphill challenge to reign supreme in the contest.
That's because viewers from Ireland are not able to vote for which star they want to win the competition, with only the votes from audiences in the UK registering. However, many in the crooner's loyal and enthusiastic Irish support base have pledged to travel to Northern Ireland and make friends and family in the UK vote for their man.
One fan, Gavin Boyle from Sligo, said he was going to stay with friends across the Border in Enniskillen and called on others supporters to get behind 'wee Daniel'.
"The general consensus from everybody I have spoken to is that they should persuade anyone who belongs to them in the UK to vote," he said.
The singer will reappear on our screens in his leotard and sequins in three weeks' time after some intensive training with his partner Kristina.
The Russian dancer has hit the headlines in the past, having dated two of her previous 'Strictly' partners.
However, Daniel's wife Majella has described Kristina as a "lovely girl".
"As far as I know, Kristina is very happy in her current relationship as we are in ours," she said.
"I found her to be a lovely girl and I'm delighted that she's working with Daniel because she's a fantastic choreographer who'll bring the best out in him."
Daniel himself said he was hoping his exertions on the dance floor might help him get more toned and even develop a 'six-pack' stomach.
"I might not look too bad, but right now, I'm holding my stomach in," he joked.