Danny is worth the wait

THERMALS are ready, thermos flasks are full and excitement is building – the annual ritual has begun.The sight to which Ipswich has become familiar has arrived with the announcement that the world's favourite Irish crooner is on his way back to Ipswich.

By Jo Macdonald

THERMALS are ready, thermos flasks are full and excitement is building – the annual ritual has begun.

The sight to which Ipswich has become familiar has arrived with the announcement that the world's favourite Irish crooner is on his way back to Ipswich.

Daniel O'Donnell is booked in for three performances in February and once again tickets look set to become the hottest property in town when the box office opens tomorrow.

Today, with more than 24 hours to go until tickets go on sale, the queue outside the Central Box Office, in Princes Street, was already about 15 strong – and it is set to grow for the rest of the day and overnight.

Sitting at the front of the queue for the third year in a row is Ruth Brett, from Cambridge, who arrived at the box office at 9am yesterday with her husband Ronald.

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Meanwhile at the end of this morning's queue were Monica Hensby and Barbara Everett, from Woodton, near Bungay, in Norfolk, who had seen Daniel perform at Norwich Theatre Royal last night, grabbed a few hours sleep and then come to Ipswich to take their place in the queue at 6.15am.

Proudly grasping her ticket, which the fans hand out themselves to ensure there is no queue jumping, was Christine Thompson from Diss, in Norfolk, number 13 in the queue.

"We want to get the best seats in the house," Mrs Thompson explained as to why his fans are willing to queue over night to get tickets to see Daniel. "We also enjoy each other's company and always have a good laugh. It's great fun and we sit reminiscing about past queues."

Mrs Hensby, answering the same question, said: "Have you seen him? Just come and see him and you will soon see why.

"He's just so natural and has got a lot of time for his fans."

Many people are unable to understand the dedication and fanaticism of Daniel's ardent fanclub. His fans will travel all over the country to see him, queuing over night at various venues again and again.

But those who do queue, like the dozen or so in Ipswich today, have formed friendships and bonds which make the ritual more important and more enjoyable.

Mrs Brett said: "We help each other out and even if we don't know names, we know people's faces."

Mrs Thompson added: "It's nice to meet up with friends who all support the same person."

And they are all united in their love of Daniel and their excitement at his marriage to Majella McClelland in Ireland on Monday.

"He is the sexiest thing on two legs," enthused Mrs Thompson. "And we're absolutely thrilled to bits about his wedding. We wish him all the luck and have wanted for so long for him to find somebody."

Mrs Hensby said: "We're happy for him. It would be nice if he had a family now to carry on his singing."

n Daniel O'Donnell will be performing at Ipswich Regent on February 17, 18 and 19 next year. Tickets, priced £21.50 and £19.50, go on sale tomorrow . They can be bought in person at the Central Box Office, Princes Street, Ipswich, from 9am or by phone, on 01473 433100, from 10am.

Weblink:

www.infowing.ie/donegal/daniel/index.html

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