Cliff tunes up for gig and helps Flatley raise €100k
CHARITY was the undoubted winner when Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley hosted Cliff Richard.
The veteran UK singer was guest of honour last night at the dancer's lavish €30m Castlehyde House in north Cork in advance of his opening of the 'Live at the Marquee' festival tonight.
Flatley used the occasion to present a magnificent Steinway piano to the World Academy of Music and Dance (WAMD) at the University of Limerick (UL).
The piano, personally tested by Cliff, will now be used for recitals and orchestra performances. The Steinway was donated to UL by the Michael Flatley Foundation.
An estimated €100,000 was raised during the evening with funds donated to a number of local charities.
Flatley has rehearsed at WAMD both for the ITV special, 'A Night to Remember', and his forth-coming show, 'Lord of the Dance – Dangerous Games'.
UL Foundation boss, David Cronin, said they were deeply appreciative of the gift.
The dancer said he was "a huge fan and a great admirer" of Richard (73), who is the third biggest selling singles artist in UK history.
To honour the singer, there was a special gathering of more than 100 guests at Castlehyde where other 'VIP' guests over the years have included Maureen O'Hara and George Hamilton.
Cliff said he was "very honoured" by the invitation to stay at Castlehyde and thrilled that his Cork concert had proved such a sell-out success.
Cliff is the opening act in a month-long music festival that is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The festival, staged in a giant marquee by Cork's docklands, has established a worldwide reputation and is now annually played by some of the top touring acts.
Promoter Peter Aiken hailed the 2014 programme as the best ever staged with such acts as Richard, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Paulo Nutini, Christy Moore, Imelda May, The Coronas, Robert Plant, Tom Jones, Elbow, Bryan Adams, Lana del Rey and the Pixies.