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'I'm upset we can only do two gigs, I want to play for a week'

TEA with his Irish granny, and maybe a pint of Guinness - Ed Sheeran's got his weekend in Ireland all planned out.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday afternoon ahead of two sold-out concerts at Croke Park, the million-selling, flame-haired troubadour from Suffolk, England, was clearly at ease in his second home.

"I'm quite upset we can only do two gigs," said Sheeran (24). "I really just want to spend a week here and play as many as possible. The Irish crowd has always been the best crowd that I've played to."

"For me, whenever I come to Ireland, my gran is 91 and I just wanna spend as much time with her as possible, and I've got lots of family over this weekend," said Sheeran. "Wembley Stadium was like, 'Let's celebrate!' Croker is more of a 'I wanna catch up with my gran and drink tea and not go out and do 15 Jagerbombs'....I'll have a Guinness at least once." He spoke of his love for Planxty, his admiration for rising Dublin minstrel Gavin James and his new record label's first signing, Jamie Lawson.

He also addressed how he's often labelled 'the nicest man in pop'. "The thing I find with having that title, whenever I do anything that's not nice, it's really blown out of proportion," he joked.


He also briefly considered asking U2 to join him at Croke Park: "It was something that crossed my mind and I did look at their tour dates, but I don't think they'd fly back for me."

It was a night out with Bren Berry of Aiken Promotions that led to Sheeran giving up his holiday plans to play for 160,000 fans in Dublin. "I'm happy that he made me do it, I'd much rather play here than take this weekend off, this is just massive."

Sheeran has yet to brush up on his GAA knowledge, though. "I actually played at the Aussie Rules final in Australia and they were saying that Gaelic football is just Aussie Rules but with a different ball so yeah, I kind of got my head around that - hurling, not so much."

He has, however, been keeping an eye on Conor McGregor's progress. Not that he's about to sing Conor's intro music - like Sinead O'Connor did - any time soon. "I was shown that fight that he just did," said Sheeran. "I don't know what I'd sing at an MMA fight, but yeah, if he asked, I probably would. But I don't think he will."

And Sheeran isn't too concerned about following up his success on his third record. "There's definitely pressure, but the pressure doesn't come from me... As long as I'm happy with the album, I'm just gonna make what I want."