Dance superstar Michael Flatley has revealed how Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson both danced their way down the sweeping staircase in his Irish stately home.
He has told how he was delighted to learn the Hollywood icon was a regular visitor to his Cork mansion in the 1930s, while the King of Pop paid a visit to him in the Castlehyde Estate when he was living in Ireland.
And he told Hello magazine that both dance legends danced down the four-storey stone staircase in Castlehyde, the ancestral home of Ireland’s first President Douglas Hyde.
He said: “When I mentioned to Michael Jackson that Fred Astaire used to come here and dance down the staircase, the first thing he wanted to was dance down it too.
“As soon as he got in the car to go home that’s the first thing I did. Just to have it on record that I’d done it too.”
He described how he ended up falling for his dream Irish home after spotting it from a helicopter while house-hunting from the air 15 years ago.
He said: “It was my dream to have an Irish home. As soon as I saw it I could feel the little hairs going up on the back of my neck.
“I’d never seen anything like it and fell in love with the house. I said ‘Land the chopper’ and was told ‘Mr Flatley you can’t go around landing your helicopter in front of people’s gardens’.”
But the star, who also has homes in Barbados and LA, ended up landing the helicopter and buying the house for €4 million before spending a reported ten times that amount restoring it to its former glory.
He told Hello magazine he doesn’t consider the four-storey home too big for him and his wife, Niamh and their seven-year-old son, Michael.
He said: “People say ‘oh it’s so big’. I don’t see it like that. Yes it’s a house but it’s a large family home.
“My wife and I often go to the bar and have a glass of champagne. I’ll play music in the music room with my son. He does his homework in the drawing room. We make use of the whole house.”
And the dancer, who will be back on tour with Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games in September, said he still keeps up the romance with his wife after eight years of marriage by having formal dinner at the 150-acre estate.
Flatley said his upcoming tour, will be his final curtain call.
“My old legs can’t take anymore. My focus now is to give new young stars their chance.”
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