Saturday 19 October 2019

'Johnny did his dad proud with dance on DWTS' - Clelia Murphy

Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during Dancing With The Stars
Johnny Ward and Emily Barker dancing during Dancing With The Stars kobpix
Johnny and Emily
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Clelia Murphy paid tribute to her Dancing With The Stars co-star Johnny Ward for performing on Sunday despite losing his father the day before, saying: "He did his dad proud."

The former Fair City actress - in the dance-off for the second week in a row - said she was not surprised he performed just after John (72) died from cancer.

"Johnny is a pro. He did himself, his dad, mam and sisters proud," she said.

"I couldn't be prouder. He went out there, did his gig, did what he's designed to do, which is to be an actor and performer"


The actress (43) said she couldn't think more highly of Johnny, another Fair City star, after his show of strength.

She felt it a bitter irony she had talked about how the show must go on one week ago when describing how she had gone to work on Fair City the day after losing her grandmother in 2010.

Johnny Ward fulfills father's wish with powerful Dancing With The Stars performance one day after his death

Meanwhile, Clelia and pro dance partner Vitali Kozmin have said they would love to be in a Dancing With The Stars tour.

She is determined to keep busy and this year is working on "different stories with different people". Last week, during gruelling dance rehearsals, she starred in the play Bold Girl during the Smock Alley Scene And Heard Festival in Dublin, working alongside another Fair City star, Ciara O'Callaghan.

"As an actor, you have to keep current and flex those muscles. The opportunity came up and I wasn't going to say no to that," she said.

"I'm not saying no to anything any more - 2019 is about saying yes to great people working on great stories."

Clelia will star in Maeve Binchy's play Light A Penny Candle at the Gaiety Theatre from April 24 to May 4. She played Niamh for 22 years in Fair City but left in 2017 to widen her scope.

The actress also tipped her hat to fellow Dubliner Seana Kerslake, recently labelled a "star" by Variety magazine for her appearance in Irish horror The Hole In The Ground.

"She's great, a grafter. I haven't worked with her but I know her well, she's a cracker of a girl," said Clelia. "There's fantastic actresses in this country.


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