Win tickets to see Ronan Keating and Michael Ball at the Audley End Picnic Concerts

Ronan Keating

Ronan Keating - Credit: Archant

BOYZONE star Ronan Keating has promised his old classics will be heard far and wide when he comes to Audley End in a couple of weeks.

Michael Ball

Michael Ball - Credit: Archant

The Irish singer will be performing at the summer concerts on Saturday, August 10, and reporter EMMA HARDWICK caught up with him ahead of his much-anticipated arrival.

Asked what the audience can expect from his headline set, Keating made it clear he was going to hold nothing back.

“I am doing everything in the show. From as far back as When You Say Nothing At All to all the latest stuff,” he said.

“When people go to a show there is nothing worse than when they get treated to all new songs. Everyone comes along to hear their favourites.”

The summer concert at the stately home will be one of the last open-air performances of the year for the musician but he is still excited to be involved.

“I cannot wait,” he said. “Especially if the weather is how it has been for the past couple of weeks. It is great and the concerts are very family orientated.”

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Recently the songwriter, whose hits include Life Is A Rollercoaster and Lovin’ Each Day, has been taking on a different role as a judge on the Australian X Factor – he even mentored a winner.

“I am seeing everything backstage and working on the image,” Keating added. “I think it has helped me greatly.”

But Boyzone fans will be pleased to hear he will back with fellow band members, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch, for a tour later on in the year.

He said: “It is a very exciting time. Things are a bit chaotic with the band – even trying to get everyone in the same room is hard!

“But it’s just four boys, four brothers, getting back together and I’m sure it will be a good crack. It is always more fun with the band – the creativity that comes from it is inspiring for me.”

Ronan will be playing alongside Sadie and the Hotheads, Saffron Walden singer-songwriter Joanna Eden and multi-instrumentalist David Stewart.

• STAGE star Michael Ball is excited to return to the ‘grandeur’ of Audley End for this year’s summer concerts.

The West End singer will be performing on Sunday, August 4, and he plans to get the crowd up from their picnic blankets and dancing.

“That is exactly what is going to happen,” he told the Reporter.

The concert will be made up of a number of stage songs that Michael has sung over the years – including work from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

He said: “I wanted to make it entirely about musicals.

“There is something about the grandeur and being at a country home. I wanted to reflect that with the songs.

“It will be magical and romantic.”

The award winner, who has performed in Sweeney Todd and Hairspray, said as much as he loves performing on the stage it does not compare to having his own concert. The radio presenter added: “You can do what you want to do because you are in charge and I like being in charge.

“Audley End is such a beautiful setting and the people know how to enjoy themselves. I think it is going to be really good.”

• As the countdown to the picnic concerts continues to gather pace, the Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast have once again teamed up with organisers to offer readers the chance to win tickets.

First up, we have two pairs to give away to see Ronan Keating on Saturday, August 10. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:

Which band helped make Ronan Keating a household name?

(a) Westlife

(b) Take That

(c) Boyzone

We also have two pairs of tickets to see Michael Ball on Saturday, August 3.

Answer the following question and you could be part of the audience...

Which one of the following musicals has Michael Ball performed in?

(a) Hairspray

(b) The Lion King

(c) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

E-mail your answers to by July 29. Winners will be chosen at random.