Staying in tune

Susan McCann joins a line-up that includes Brendan Bowyer, Tony Kenny and Sonny Knowles to celebrate the sounds of the showband era tonight and tomorrow night at The Helix.

Staying in tune

It’s 12 years since the Co Down woman last took part in this series of concerts.

“I just loved it — the nostalgia, the audience. There were loads of singers in it that I had danced to as a teenager — Brendan Bowyer, Frankie McBride, Eileen Reid. I’m delighted to be doing it again this year.”

Now aged 63, she’s been married to Dennis Heaney for 41 years. “He’s my manager and my musical director. All I do is sing. He takes care of everything else.”

The mum of two began her show business career when her daughter, Linda, was just one year old — she’s now 37. If she could re-visit any phase of her life it would be 1982 when she won the European Gold Star Award, beating off competition from about a dozen other European countries.

“It was a great month in my life. Out of that I got so much European work. And when I came home there was such excitement.”

- Susan McCann stars alongside Brendan Bowyer, Tony Kenny, Sonny Knowles, Sean Fagan, Ray Lynam and Joe Doherty and the Galaxy Showband in Ireland’s Showbands Do You Come Here Often, presented by George Jones and running until Saturday, Jan 5 at The Helix. Box Office: 01-7007000 or visit

What shape are you in?

I’m in good shape for my age. I go to the gym three days a week. I have a personal trainer who puts me through my paces. I’m not bad for 63.

Do you have any health concerns?

No. I get the odd flu. My mum lived ’til she was 86. My dad died of a heart attack. I had a sister who died 14 years ago. She had MS. She was in a wheelchair for 20 years.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’m prone to putting on weight so I try to cut back on bread and potatoes. I eat fish, meat and plenty of vegetables — there’s no vegetable I wouldn’t eat.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Sausage rolls with brown sauce. I wouldn’t have them too often but now and again I buy the odd sneaky one.

What would keep you awake at night?

I worry about my kids and my grandkids — I have four — all the time, hoping things will work out for them in the current economic climate. My son’s in the lorry business and on the road all the time. I worry about this big bad world that my grandkids are growing up in. I never worry about myself. I’m into my 60s — I can’t complain.

How do you relax?

I walk quite a bit. I love taking the daily paper to bed with me and reading it from end to end. I just love being in my home — I’m house-proud.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

A handful of very close friends I grew up with.

What’s your favourite smell?

The smell of spaghetti Bolognese.

What would you change about your appearance?

I’d love to be a wee bit slimmer, maybe half a stone lighter.

When did you last cry?

When my grandson fell off a balcony while on holiday in Lanzarote last April. He was bouncing a ball, it fell off and he decided to jump off to see where it went. He broke his wee arm and lost some teeth.

What trait do you least like in others?

I don’t like snobbery, people who make out to be something they’re not.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

I’m very quick-tempered. I’d eat you without salt and be sorry after.

Do you pray?

I pray a lot. I have great faith and I firmly believe prayer takes me through a lot. I go to Lough Derg every other year.

What would cheer up your day?

Somebody sending me a bunch of flowers.

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