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Val Doonican

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Biography

Val Doonican (born Michael Valentine Doonican, 3 February 1927, in Waterford) is an Irish singer and performer.


Career
From 1964 to 1986, he was a regular fixture on the BBC’s television schedule with The Val Doonican Show which featured his own singing performances and a variety of other acts.

Doonican started performing in his home town and featured in the first ever television broadcast from Waterford. He then joined a band which toured Ireland playing the drums. In 1951 he moved to England to join another group, The Four Ramblers who toured and performed on BBC Radio shows broadcast from factories.

He eventually went solo and had a radio show as well as performing concerts and cabaret. In 1963 he was booked to appear on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. As a result of this performance, he was offered his own show on BBC television, lasting for over twenty years and moving to Saturday as its popularity grew. It featured his relaxed crooner style performance sitting in a rocking chair, as well as a number of comic Irish songs, notably “Paddy McGinty’s Goat”, “Delaney’s Donkey”, and “Rafferty’s Motor Car”, on which he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar. He often wore a cardigan which became a trade mark, and was sometimes compared to American singer Perry Como though Doonican has claimed his main influence was Bing Crosby. As a variety show, there were a number of other acts featured and performers such as Dave Allen had early exposure on the show.

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