Singer Daniel O'Donnell has announced that he is to take an "extended break from touring", beginning next year.

In a posting on his website, O'Donnell wrote that his wife Majella's breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment had given them "a lot of time to reflect and take stock of things and it makes us realise that life is short".

He said: "I want to let you know at this point that I have decided to take an extended break from touring after the Gertrude Byrne Caribbean cruise finishes next February 2015.

"I can't really say how long the break will be, but there will be no shows until at least the middle of 2016."

He continued: "For me this was a very big decision but there are a number of things that Majella and I want to do and even if we live to be 90 (which I hope we do) I don't want to have to say 'I wish we took the time to do such and such……'.

"I would like to thank you at this point also for supporting my career over the last 30 years and I hope when we get back to doing shows that I will see all of you again."

O'Donnell concluded: "I want to stress that 'This is not retirement, it's just a sabbatical'."

Majella O'Donnell will be among the guests on The Late Late Show on RTÉ One on Friday night at 9:35pm.