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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Sweeney supports Aled Jones return
Aled Jones
Aled Jones has recently signed a five-album deal
Former child star Aled Jones has attracted a host of stars to perform at his first live concert for over 10 years.

The Songs of Praise presenter will be joined at the charity show by acts including pop star and ex-Brookside actress Claire Sweeney, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and female string quartet Bond.


Singing with the Llanelli Male Voice Choir is always a great honour and makes me proud to be Welsh.

Aled Jones

The event, which will promote Jones' forthcoming new album, will also donate money to the Noah's Ark appeal, which aims to raise 5m to build the first phase of the first Children's Hospital for Wales.

Jones, 31, said he is very enthusiastic about what he hopes will be "a very special night".

"The Libera Choir and the Llanelli Male Choir appeared with me on the album, but the others are here to support me," he said.

Jones is particularly excited about appearing alongside Claire Sweeney, who recently appeared at Bryn Terfel's Faenol festival in north Wales and in the musical Chicago.

Jones missed Sweeney's performance at Faenol because he was recording a video for the new album, but has heard nothing but good reports of her.

"I heard she was fantastic and of course I've seen her in the West End," he said.

Claire Sweeney
Jones is looking forward to performing alongside Claire Sweeney

"I think she has a wonderful career ahead of her and I'm very excited she's appearing."

And if Jones has any problems on the night, he always has the Llanelli Male Voice Choir to back him up.

"The Llanelli boys are great fun to work with and what they don't about singing isn't worth knowing," he said.

"Singing with them is always a great honour and makes me proud to be Welsh."

Irish singer Roision O'Reilly will also be performing Irish folk tunes at the concert.

Gold albums

Earlier this year, Jones said he felt the concert, at Cardiff's St David's Hall on 4 October, was like "coming home".

"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.

Aled Jones
Child star: Aled Jones as a choirboy

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

Jones is set to resume his career, which has already seen six million record sales and 16 gold and platinum albums.

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".

The concert will be shown as a Songs of Praise TV Special on 13 October.

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