SINGER Johnny Logan has said he "feels like Bill Nighy in Love Actually" with an unexpected hit on his hands.
The 59-year-old spoke of his astonishment last night after learning he was No3 in the mid-week Irish charts with a song recorded for RTE show The Hit.
Prayin', penned by Dubliner Alan Earls, is Logan's biggest Irish single since Eurovision winner Hold Me Now in 1987.
"For a person who has been around as long as I have, this is incredible. I feel like the singer Bill Nighy plays in the film Love Actually, the guy who tops the charts by accident.
"Although in this case, I see it as proof that if you put the right song with the right singer, people of all ages will buy it," Johnny told the Herald.
Even more surprising is that the veteran entertainer – a three-times Eurovision winner – can be heard rapping on the record, which has racked up nearly 2,000 downloads since last Friday.
"Snoop Dog Logan I'm not. I did approach other rappers, but they all wanted to change the lyrics and I didn't want to mess about with anything which is so personal to the writer involved," he added.
Written by songwriter Earls after the death of his father Brian, it was the personal nature of the lyric that attracted Logan to the song.
"I lost my own father in 1993 and I didn't deal with it too well. That made me understand where the writer was coming from," he said.
But having selected the song, the Ashbourne-based singer was shocked when Earls presented him with a picture of his aunt Margaret Coyle, then a little girl in Irish costume, meeting his late father, Irish Tenor Patrick O'Hagan, at Melbourne Airport in 1973.
"That made me think this might have been fate," said Johnny.
Johnny Logan's track Prayin' is competing against song 1969, penned by Aaron Hackett and sung by Duke Special, with the winner known on Friday.