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Euro winner (almost)

Just before the Eurovision Contest, in which he came 11th, Ireland's entrant Mickey Harte discussed his success in winning You're a Star, his massive number one single and the problems his success has brought.

Just one week before the Eurovision Song Contest, Mickey Harte was busy rehearsing and gigging in preparation for the showdown. Last year Mickey Harte decided to enter the RTÉ contest, You're a Star and, though he had no expectations of the show, he won the heart of Ireland and became the country's representative in the Eurovision.

"I had no expectations of You're a Star at all. I got involved in it and I didn't really know what the whole thing was all about. I got through and it was a rollercoaster from there. I didn't expect to win, but hoped to get exposure and to raise my profile a bit. Luckily enough, it worked.'

Following the contest, he signed a record contract with Sony. Originally the winner of the contest was supposed to sign a contract with Universal, but Mickey decided that Sony were offering a better deal. "Sony spoke in a better language, were offering a better deal and had better personnel."

Mickey has spent the past few months gigging all around the country from Killarney to Derry. He is delighted with the reception he has been getting from fans. "It has been great. All of my gigs have been sold out. The fans are great and some of them make a bigger deal out of me than others".

With the Eurovision is looming on the horizon, Mickey was looking forward to performing 'We've got the World' in Latvia. The song jumped to the number one spot in Ireland knocking rival contestant Simon Casey from the top spot and went on to become the year's biggest selling single so far.

"Simon had his few weeks and now I have mine. It's good that we weren't released at the same time, as that would've been worse. At least we both got a go at it. It's a really great song and it has been good to me. It's fantastic that it got to number one."

On the music scene, Mickey has done well. However, he feels unhappy that he doesn't see his family as often as he would like to. "We're taking one day at time. They're dealing with it great and taking it on the chin. I don't get to see them as much as I'd like to, but that's the nature of showbusiness. We try to arrange to see each other as often as we can, but that doesn't always work out."

He believes that another You're a Star contest would be great and hopes that rumours of RTÉ's plan to launch another one next year will go ahead. "Let them at it. I think there'll be another show and I hope it works out," he said with a laugh.


by Nicola Rowan

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