Dancing star Vincent Simone has revealed his plans to spend more time living in Derry.
The former ‘Strictly Come dancing’ star who was in the city’s Playhouse yesterday, said he had just finished a forty week tour.
“I have been working too much lately,” he said. “And I’ve got my wife and my two boys. I love Derry, I feel like I am on holiday, everyone is so laid back.
“The people here are very like the people in Italy, they pick you up, they spin you around. I am going to make the most of my time here.”
Yesterday Vincent, who is married with two children to local girl Susan Duddy, took to the dance floor with youngsters attending the Playhouse’s Children and Teen Arts Festival.
Backing the theatre to win a national lottery heritage award Simone said: “The Playhouse is a brilliant venue and it was great to have the opportunity to get a look at their wonderful facilities.
“I was really impressed by the Playhouse’s efforts to bring the joys of the arts, music and dancing to such a wide, and this case, young audience.
“I have met so many amazing young people today and there is some amazing talent here. I wish that I had something like this when I was growing up.”
Just weeks before the next series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ starts, Vincent said he misses not being part of the BBC show any more.
“But then I remember how hard the show was,” he said. “I did my fair share with the show and I have met some amazing people.
“I’ve been dancing with my professional partner Flavia for 20 years and we have just finished a series of amazing shows. We’ve played to thousands of people with standing ovations.”
Niall McCaughan, chief executive of the Playhouse added: “It was a pleasure to welcome Vincent Simone to the Playhouse today in his now adopted home city of Derry.
“When our buildings had fallen into a major state of disrepair, National Lottery funding helped transform this historically important venue into a versatile arts centre. We now provide vital and modern facilities for both the entire local community and Derry and the wider cultural and artistic community throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.”
The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the public’s favourite National Lottery funded projects. The results of the public vote will be announced in August.