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guiding light Late Late Toy Show sensation believes his success 'wouldn't have happened' without late dad

The fourteen-year-old shot to fame after a duet with Dermot Kennedy

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LATE Late Toy Show sensation Michael Moloney has told how he believes his late dad is still guiding him in life and music.

Fourteen-year-old Michael, who shot to fame before Christmas when Irish superstar Dermot Kennedy joined him on the Late Late for a surprise duet, lost his beloved father, Emmet, to cancer four years ago.

Michael, an only child who has now released a self-penned song, All That I Do, inspired by the loss of his dad, tells Shuffle: "I was extremely distraught [when Emmet died] to put it bluntly, but with the song I just wanted to send a message across to people that it does get better.

"When my dad first passed people would be saying, 'He's still with you,' and it's kind of hard to hear that. You'd be thinking, 'He's not with me, where is he?' It'll never be totally fixed, but it'll get better over time.

"Now I believe they are still with us. I talk to my dad all the time, chatting to him, telling him the news. I know he's up there orchestrating all of this.

"So many unexplained things have happened…and the Toy Show is just one of them, getting to perform on it with Dermot Kennedy. Then I got the offer to record my single…and I have a poem in a Bob Dylan book.

"The whole thing is crazy to think about, and I don't think it would have happened without Dad."

Michael's father ran a live music bar, Emmet's Treffpunkt, in Ballina, Co Mayo.

His mum, Sandra, sitting in on our Zoom call, chips in: "Anybody who knows anything about Emmet just knows him as a massive music nut.

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"Emmet would have been to see Bob Dylan something like 34 times. He travelled every State in America to see him when he lived there for 11 years… he was a mental Bob Dylan fanatic.

"Mikie now has a poem published in a book celebrating Bob Dylan's 80th birthday, which was compiled by a man in Westport. He was approached because of his father's connection to Bob Dylan."

Speaking of his bond with Emmet, Michael says: "I've always had a really, really close bond with my dad. He'd always be playing music in the car.

"Anywhere my dad would go, even up to the shop for five minutes, he'd always ask, 'Do you want to come with me?'

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"He'd drop me to school or pick me up from school and I'd always get around him to go to Tesco to get DVDs or magazines with the toys stuck to the front of them."

Looking back on his Toy Show performance with Dermot Kennedy, Michael says: "Seeing Dermot Kennedy just standing right beside me singing with me, I had no clue that was going to happen and it was just mind blowing.

"I was shocked. I almost stopped singing, but I had to keep singing no matter what. My mum had told me before I went on, 'No matter what you do just keep singing.' So I had to remember those words and keep going."

The magic moment instantly won Michael tens of thousands of fans. "When I came off the Toy Show it was all kind of a daze…and then I got my phone out and it was blowing up with notifications," he says. "I think I went from 350 followers on Instagram to 43,000 in one night."

However, Michael was brought back down to earth the following Monday. "I went from that high to straight in to Christmas tests at school the next week," he laughs.

"It was nerve-racking because with the Late Late Show I hadn't got a chance to study that much, so on the bus in the morning I was studying science. My friends and my teachers were congratulating me, but school is school, so there is no change there. They all just treat me the same way."

Michael Moloney's single, All That I Do, is now available.

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