Imelda May: Ronnie Wood joked he discovered me – I said, ‘Yes, you did, you just forgot to tell anyone else!’
Imelda May first met Ronnie Wood when she was performing as a teenager – and reveals he later jokingly took credit for “discovering” her.
he singer’s Glastonbury adventure this year meant she missed out on seeing her friend play in London’s Hyde Park, where he was on tour with The Rolling Stones.
“Ronnie has been a good friend for many years – he’s a great guy. We met originally when I was 16. I started singing in the Burlesque Blues Club in Dublin in the basement, and he jumped up on stage,” she told the Irish Independent.
“He was staying in a hotel nearby. There was a jamming session, and we did a couple of songs together.
“However, I didn’t meet him again until years later when I was in my 30s. I was touring with Jeff Beck, who introduced us. I said to Ronnie, ‘We’ve met before, but you won’t remember’.
“But he did – he remembered everything, and then we picked up where we left off. It’s mad, isn’t it?
“In his documentary (Somebody Up There Likes Me), he told the makers, ‘I discovered Imelda’ and I replied, ‘Yes, you did, but you forgot to tell anyone about me.’”
May surprised fans last month when she made her acting debut in Fisherman’s Friends: One and All – the sequel to the 2019 film Fisherman’s Friends.
The singer described the opportunity as leaving her “absolutely thrilled”, and if that’s not enough, she also released her latest album, 11 Past the Hour, which is out now.
Although, as rewarding as this past year has been on the star’s career front, it hasn’t been without its challenges.
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The Liberties artist was left heartbroken when her mother Madge (94) died last November.
“We all miss her, and will for the rest of our lives. But we’re very grateful we had her,” said May.
The 48-year-old has had plenty to keep her busy – not least the impromptu Glastonbury performance in June. “It was wild, The Fisherman’s Friends – a folk music group that sing sea shanties and whose film I appeared in – asked me to be their guest. So I jumped up onstage and sang a song. Art was imitating life that day.”
Explaining how the big-screen opportunity came about, she said: “The producers reached out to me as they thought I’d be perfect for the part of Aubrey Flynn. I’d to do an audition, and then I got the job.
“I don’t have any formal acting experience, but I was in a couple of plays when I was younger, even though it’s not quite the same.
“But I’ve no formal music training either.
“I spent six weeks filming in Cornwall, and the storyline is beautiful. It’s a great feel-good movie but it digs deep and is hilarious. I think it’s what we all need to be honest.”
May is currently in a relationship with Dundalk actor Niall McNamee (28) who starred in The Reavey Brothers, which is a short film based on the true events of three heartbreaking murders that took place in Co Armagh in 1976.
She attended the London premiere in January and said: “I absolutely enjoyed it… I knew of the story, and I was very honoured to meet the families. Hopefully it is turned into a bigger movie, because it deserves to be and for their story to be told.”
The couple met in the London in 2018, but it wasn’t until the first lockdown of 2020 when romance began to blossom.
The mother of one revealed that things are going well for the couple, but she has ruled out marriage any time soon.
“I’m just happy to be happy.
“Everything is good.”
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