The singing Irish priest who caused a stir when he reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent has revealed an exciting new career.
Fr Ray Kelly has said that he will be taking time away from his congregation to perform on a cruise ship – but insists his parish duties will always come first.
The talented 65-year-old is one of 30 Irish acts that has been booked to entertain passengers on a luxury week-long cruise around the coast of Alaska.
He will join the likes of Daniel O’Donnell on the ‘All Star Irish Charter Cruise’ which is run by US-based Gertrude Byrne Promotions.
Fr Kelly won’t be forgetting his top priority though – he will be doubling up as the ship’s Chaplain.
He said: “I’m extremely excited about the cruise. It’s taking place in May next year and it’ll be a whole new experience for me, as I’ve never been on a cruise before. I think I’ll be expected to perform a few times every day, but I’ll also be available as the ship’s chaplain, too. So I’d anticipate that I’ll be kept pretty busy whilst I’m on the ship.”
Fr Kelly is hugely popular in both Ireland and the UK and has also built up fan bases in Germany and the USA.
He had achieved some fame even before his success on Britain’s Got Talent when a video of him singing to a couple at their wedding went viral. He later wowed Simon Cowell with his Britain’s Got Talent audition before going on to reach the semi-finals.
He is so well known that he has already toured America and has been invited to go on a three-week tour of the US again in September.
However, despite his, Fr Kelly says his obligation to his parish will always come first.
He said: “Britain’s Got Talent was a great experience, and although I was disappointed not to have made the final, it was really uplifting to have won over a new audience. I was looked after very well, and it was an experience I will always remember very fondly.
“I just feel very fortunate to be able to combine my work as a priest and to be able to sing to audiences, too. I have to plan things well in advance to make sure I have cover in the parish when I am not there, but it’s really not a problem.
“However successful I might become with my singing, I’ve no intention of leaving the priesthood. That’s extremely important to me, so I certainly won’t ever be giving that up.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling