A Question of Taste: Derek Burke

Derek Burke is from Lisgoold, near Midleton, Co Cork.

He’s best known as part of the family band Crystal Swing, currently on hiatus. Burke is currently appearing on RTÉ One travel show Celebrity Globetrotters (Thursdays, 8.30pm) and has also started a new band called Red Zetor.

Best recent book you’ve read:

I’m not a huge reader unfortunately as I don’t get the time but when I do I enjoy reading books like Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small. Also Adam Henson’s books — he’s a presenter on BBCs Country file.

Best recent film you’ve seen:

Bohemian Rhapsody, about Freddie Mercury in Queen.

Best recent show or gig:

When Ed Sheeran came to Cork. It may not be my exact style of music but you have to give him credit for the effects and sounds he can make as a one-man show.

Best music you’ve been listening to recently (new or old):

It would have to be Dire Straits, with Marc Knopfler, and Paul Franklin on pedal steel.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!)

It would have to be one of our own native country/show band acts. We have such talented people here in Ireland.

Tell us about Celebrity Globetrotters:

I was very lucky to be asked to join Celebrity Globetrotters. We were six people, with six very different back grounds, but we all got along so well. I would never have said I was a travel person even though I got to travel a lot with music, but I enjoyed Morrocco so much I’d love to go on a holiday like that again and see the culture of countries. We got to visit so many exciting places it was amazing.

If you had to pick one highlight from your travels with the show...

It would be when we went to a local market to buy a goat for the Berber family high up the Atlas mountains as a present. We bought this goat as there not into material gifts like we are.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I would listen a lot to local radio like C103, 96fm, Red fm, and also to RTÉ Radio 1. I like to listen to chat show programmes more then music ones.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Meeting Ellen DeGeneres when we performed on her show in Hollywood. It was such a highlight in my career

You are curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

The Beatles, Marc Knopfler and Elvis.

Do you have any interesting ancestors?

My grand uncle Jim. He was a farmer and had 12 kids in his family. But he was a character, he taught me to drive and my love of machinery. He passed away two years ago at the age of 91 and I miss the chats I used have with him. He was a character in our village

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

The Healy Rae’s. For country people they are the business. The Kingdom are lucky to have them. Some of the best roads are found in Kerry.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

I’d make sure to change life a bit. I’d close all shops/business on a Sunday so people could spend that day at home with their families. I think our lives are filled with running and racing.

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