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Dublin teacher set to sing at Manilow gig

A Dublin teacher will take the stage in the O2 in London to sing alongside US star Barry Manilow.

Richard Smith, from Darndale, was invited to join the legendary singer at the prestigious arena following his stellar performance on BBC's Tonight's The Night last Saturday.

The hugely popular series, presented by former Desperate Housewives star and singer John Barrowman, gives a few lucky participants once-in-a-lifetime chances to perform on TV with help from some world famous singers.

The latest instalment saw religious education teacher Richard (37) jet over to Las Vegas for a masterclass with Mr Manilow before wowing a studio audience with his version of the singer's hit Mandy.

Speaking to the Herald, Richard, who has been living in Birmingham for 15 years, revealed his old school teacher, and now film star, Brendan Gleeson got in touch after the show was broadcast.

"Brendan Gleeson sent me an email through Facebook to say well done.

"He used to teach me English and Irish before he became an actor and we used to play in the school band together.

"It was really lovely to hear from him.

"This entire experience has been very surreal. I flew over to Las Vegas in mid-July to film with Barry. It was amazing. He was so humble and very nice.

"We got to sing about five songs together before choosing Mandy for my performance on the show.

"Barry left me a message after the show aired inviting me to be his guest at the O2 in May and he said, 'We'll sing again' so I can't wait to take to the stage. I'm going to hold him to it."

aanderson@herald.ie