D:Ream start for Sunday's Hospice Male Walk

The organisers of Foyle Hospice's Male Walk are in D:Ream land as Derry popstar Peter Cunnah prepares to jet over from London for Sunday's fundraiser.

Peter told the ‘Journal’: “The Hospice plays an essential role in the city and it’s in everyone’s conscious. They do brilliant work and I’m happy to do my bit to raise some funds for them.

“I got involved in Sunday’s fundraiser through my old buddy Gerry Doherty. I’ve been friends with him since our time together at St Columb’s. He has been running marathons and half marathons for years now and he urged me to get my arse in gear and get involved. I ran the two bridges during the summer and am looking forward to doing it again on Sunday. I won’t be walking it - I need the exercise too much!”

Peter will be counting on his friend Gerry to ‘give him a hand’ when the going gets tough during Sunday’s event.

He said: “Gerry’s a lot faster than me but he’s very polite and puts his hand at the small of my back to help push me up the hills.

“He and I used to go drinking and dancing together back in the old days so it’s nice to be able to socialise with him in a healthier environment. We can’t go chasing girls together anymore - our wives wouldn’t be best pleased.”

Peter gets back to Derry as often as he can and has been over six times this year already.

He said: “I love coming home. There has been such a change in the city since the peace process. There’s something magical about running over the Foyle Bridge when the sun is setting over the city and Derry lights up for the evening.

He is urging the men of Derry to turnout in force on Sunday afternoon to support the Hospice.“Don’t go out drinking on Saturday night. Come out and have a laugh on Sunday afternoon and then we can all enjoy a few beers afterwards,” he said.

Peter is back working with old D:Ream colleague Al Mackenzie, after a chance meeting in a West London park.

He said: “It was crazy. I saw a guy remonstrating with a bunch of kids who were drinkning in the park behind my house on a Sunday morning. I went over to have my say and it was Al standing there. I couldn’t believe it. We hadn’t seen each other in 14 years.

“We ended up having a bit of a chat about D:Ream’s second album. He thought it was rubbish and, with the benefit of hindsight, I agreed.”

Peter has continued writing over the years and has kept a few of the ideas for the band’s comeback.

He said: “Al has continued DJing and has kept astride of what has been going on music wise. Things are clicking into place better than ever and the new music is somewhere along the lines of CSS and Hot Chip. It’s that ‘live’ sound and it will be recognisable as a D:Ream record, because we were one of the first dance bands to ever play live.”

If you want to register for the Male Walk on Sunday you can do so by going to the Hospice before 5pm or simply by turning up on Sunday afternoon at Sainsbury’s car park before 12.45pm. The walk starts at 1.30pm.