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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Aled Jones announces charity concert
Aled Jones
Aled Jones will team up with mystery guests
Former child star Aled Jones has said he "can't wait" to perform at a live concert for the first time in over 10 years at a charity event in Cardiff later this year.

The 31-year-old Songs of Praise presenter has announced he will be singing at St David's Hall on 4 October to raise money for the Noah's Ark appeal as he relaunches his singing career.


I have been singing on Songs of Praise and kept being asked if we were going to release an album. It seemed the natural thing to do

Aled Jones
"I can't wait for the concert. It sounds like a cliche, but it feels like I am coming home," he said.

"My first professional singing engagement as a boy was in St David's Hall and it feels like a natural progression to start my adult career there.

"It is one of the best halls in the UK, in my opinion," he said

Jones, who recently married girlfriend Claire Fossett, is the latest in a line of celebrities to back the appeal, which aims to raise 5m for build the first phase of the first Children's Hospital for Wales.

Catherine Zeta Jones, Charlotte Church and Ian Botham have all taken part in fundraising drives.

Aled Jones
Child star: Aled Jones as a choirboy

Jones said he knew he was going to do the concert to tie in with the launch of his new album, but was thrilled he would be able to help.

"In London, where I live, you don't hear too much about it but it is a great cause.

"Having just become a father for the first time, I'm very pleased the appeal will benefit.

"Emilia is 17 weeks old and is totally dependent on Claire and I - we are blessed that she is healthy, but lots of children don't have the same health."

'Flavoured concert'

A number of mystery guest stars are being lined up to perform at the Aled and Friends concert, which will also be recorded to be shown as a Songs of Praise TV Special on 13 October.

He hinted that one of the guests would be an older singer, while another would be from the pop world.

The Llanelli male voice choir, harpist Catrin Finch and the critically-acclaimed Libera choir will all take part, and Jones revealed the concert would take a similar format to the television programme, with participation from the congregation.

Catrin Finch
Harpist Catrin Finch will perform at the concert

"The Welsh people would take any excuse to sing, and there will be a couple of readings as well, he said."

"It will be a concert with several flavours".

Jones has recently signed a five-album deal with Universal Classics, with his debut album due for release on 14 October.

"I have been singing on Songs of Praise and kept being asked if we were going to release an album. It seemed the natural thing to do."

The first album will be a mixture of two or three hymns, as well as classical music including Ave Maria, and songs he described as "inspirational".

But fans of Aled on Songs of Praise need not worry - he is contracted to the show for the forseeable future.

His early career as a child star has set a difficult precedent for his new release - all previous 16 albums either went platinum or gold, and he has notched up a total six million record sales.

And performances in front of the Queen, on Top of the Pops and at the Hollywood Bowl, and even at the wedding of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, secured his international reputation.

After his voice broke when he was 16 he enjoyed performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, as well as presenting a variety of programmes on television and radio in both English and Welsh.

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