TV AND radio star Aled Jones burst into a medley of his favourite tunes as he officially opened a £4.5m extension to a North Wales shopping outlet.
Shoppers who had flocked to see the multi-million album selling star at Tweedmill near St Asaph, applauded the star as he concluded his performance, which included Ar Lan y Mor, Morning Has Broken, Bugeilo’r Gwenith Gwyn, Amazing Grace – plus a tiny snippet of his break-through hit Walking In The Air.
“It’s great to be back in North Wales, performing these songs, which are some of my favourites – I’ll be singing some of them next month on my tour. I’m more used to singing in large concert halls or on stage, so performing in the centre like this is pretty unusual for me, though I know they do love a good song in this part of Wales,” said Aled afterwards.
The Bangor-born singer, who shot to fame with his version of the theme tune from The Snowman, now co-presents BBC’s Songs of Praise, plus a Classic FM programme, has a chat show on BBC Radio Wales and his own ITV1 show, Weekend.
Aled was at the busy shopping outlet to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary by opening a new extension, which has helped create 50 jobs. After unveiling a plaque he met fans and signed copies of his book before sitting down to a special Afternoon Tea with a host of supporters, including competition winners, plus toured the 50,000 sq ft outlet.
Tweedmill, which employs 140 people, welcomes more than 650,000 visitors a year, making it one of the largest year-old attractions in North Wales. Bosses now hope to tempt even larger numbers of shoppers to browse its rails, stop for a coffee or visit the new farm shop, said outlet director Lisa Johns.
“This is a major investment by the company into the business and we wanted to mark both the opening of the extension, and our 20th birthday, by inviting one of the best-known North Wales faces to the Outlet,” said Lisa.
“It was great to hear Aled perform his favourite songs, and he was so delightful chatting to the guests over tea and cakes. I’m so pleased he was able to find the time to visit.
“We feel that we are much part of the North Wales community - we are one of the largest employers in this area, and we want to showcase the best that Wales can offer. Our aim is for all the produce in the Farm Shop either to be made here in Wales, or supplied by companies local to us.
Pensioner Glenys Williams from Bodfari was among the select group who sat down to tea and cake with Aled, after winning a Denbighshire Free Press competition for tickets. She also bought the singer’s autobiography, which Aled signed.
“I am a big fan, I love hearing him on the radio. I’ve seen him before at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power when he sang and presented,” said Glenys.
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