Oh Danny boy

Amy Donohoe

Daniel O’Donnell has always been a household name in Ireland, but it’s not only Ireland where Daniel is loved. In a documentary series titled, “Daniel & Majella’s American Road Trip,” we see that he is worshipped by many in the United States.

Daniels first series on RTE was a hit last year when he traveled around Ireland with Majella for “Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip.” However, this time the power couple ­left the B&Bs of Ireland in their rear-view mirror and drove a camper van around the US. Between exploring the sites and meeting the fans, Daniel and his wife seem to enjoy starring in their own show.

In episode one, the couple met superfan Helen Lynne whose humble home is crammed with Daniel memorabilia.

Lynne is an elderly Daniel worshipper who lives outside Chicago and who has, “one of the largest Daniel O’Donnell collections in the world” as well as owning a stash of Johnny Cash memorabilia, which Daniel admired. She even had a toilet cover featuring Daniel’s grinning face.

Majella pretended to be jealous by this adoration of her husband, but she is well used to Daniel getting female attention. Meanwhile, Daniel joked, “If I had that on my toilet sure I’d be constipated, I wouldn’t be able to go at all.”

Singer and now, TV personality star “Wee” Daniel, comes from the West of Donegal. He became successful across Ireland and the UK in the mid-1990 ’s. He was given the Irish Entertainer of the Year award in 1989, 1992 and 1996.

O’Donnell’s first chart hit single in the UK was in 1992 with “I Just Want to Dance With You” which led to his first-ever appearance on Top of the Pops. O’Donnell garnered considerable success in North America when he starred in seven concert specials on public television in the US.

The man with the gently soft-spoken personality and a clean-cut image has attracted a vast amount of media attention throughout the years and now has reached his peak.

There have also been many cultural references to the performer. O’Donnell has been satirised in Irish and British comedy because his audience consists mainly of older women.

O’Donnell is known for his close relationship with his fans and has a meet-and-greet session after almost every concert. He used to host a massive tea party for his fans outside his Donegal home every year.

Referring to his latest show, Daniel told the Irish Sunday Mirror, “We do tend to forget sometimes we’re being filmed and I think that is how things come across on the show. “But I don’t think there were too many bleeps on the road trip thankfully.”

Viewers were particular left in hysterics during one of the couple’s adventures in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, as Daniel faced his fear of water and Majella had a ‘gas’ time when she let out a nervous fart whilst sitting on top of a water skier’s shoulders.

Daniel told Ryan Tubridy, “We did a lot of things that, you know the things on these shows, I would never really seek out doing them, to be honest but when you’re faced with it and it’s but in front of you to do it, it’s amazing what you’ll just go at.”

He added, “God help the poor fella that was under Majella. He got more than he bargained for.”

His most popular songs are “Galway Bay”, “My Donegal Shore” or “Danny Boy” and Daniel’s song “I Need You” is even the most played song at weddings in Sri Lanka. No matter where he travels, Daniel has a fan-base worldwide and he always makes time for his fans which is a contributing factor to his success.

Amy Donohoe

Image Credit: Megan Hannan