Book Review

The Road to Riverdance: Entertaining account of the steps that led to a showbiz phenomenon

From a childhood in Limerick to working with Van Morrison, Paul McGuinness and Johnny Logan, Bill Whelan traces the road to creating the famous show that began life as an interval act in the Eurovision song contest

Bill Whelan: Riverdance made sure he could stop meeting with his bank manager, cap in hand, as he waited for the next job to come his way

It’s 28 years since Riverdance made its debut as a seven-minute interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest, the part of the evening where juries decide which act is going to get their douze points and television audiences put the kettle on.

Up to that point, most countries filled the gap with traditional music and visuals featuring sweeping vistas and smiling locals that were the stock-in-trade of state-run tourist boards. Then wham, bam and along ...