Imelda May has said that she's "excited" to be hosting the New Year's Eve special on RTÉ One, which she says will feature "the best of Irish talent".

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, the Dublin singer-songwriter said the show will be like a "condensed version" of The Imelda May Show.

"It will be the best of Irish talent, probably not totally what you’d expect as well, with some well established artists, maybe an icon thrown in for good measure, and some up-and-coming artists who you probably won’t have heard of," she said of the line-up.

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"I think it’s important to support your own. I think the ratio of musicians in Ireland to people who aren’t is insane compared to other countries! Compared to other countries, Ireland brings out such an amount of great music, poetry, art, dancing.

"It’s a huge part of our culture, if we lose that we lose a big part of our identity. For me, that’s probably why I’m doing this because I feel very passionately about supporting Irish music.

"There’s all different types of music, there’ll be a few surprises in there, hopefully we’ll have a lot of fun!"

The diverse line-up for the NYE show features a host of Irish music luminaries including The Corrs, Finbar Furey, The Strypes, Gavin James, Beoga and Jerry Fish. The audience will also feature some special guests from the Irish entertainment industry.

The Strypes are among the acts performing on the Imelda May NYE special

The Liberties-born singer has had a busy year with the release of her fifth album, Life Love Flesh Blood in April, the first since her break-up from her husband of 13 years, Darrel Higham.

What has it been like touring an album that's so personal?

"Good and bad, you know," May said. "It’s great that you can put your heart and soul into every gig and it’s lovely seeing people sing back to you, and they’ve related to it somehow.

"It was a brilliant experience, everybody was really into it and singing it to me, so just to be able to connect with people’s emotions, that might have experienced similar things you’ve written about.

"That’s a special moment for me and there was lots of special moments on the tour."
 

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2017 has been full of pinch-me moments for the singing star. As well as touring her album, May also famously performed the Irish national anthem at Conor McGregor's Las Vegas boxing match against Floyd Mayweather and has received honours such as the  Artist of the Year Award at the Irish Post Awards and a Contribution to Irish Music Award at The Ireland Funds Awards.

What will 2018 hold for Imelda May?

"I don’t know, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of stuff," she said. "Because you meet people along the way when you’re touring and you say ‘Oh we must get together’ and it doesn’t happen because everyone’s on tour and they’re busy, but when there’s a bit of a gap then you can sometimes make those things happen and they can be really interesting and fun just to enjoy yourself musically.

"I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens with that, and then I’ll be taking a break and then I’m going to start writing for the next album. Writing and then recording, and I’ve no idea what it will be, so I’m curious to find out what comes out of me."

And will she be making any New Year's Eve resolutions?

"Never, I don’t believe in them", May said. "You don’t have to wait until a particular date to do it. If you want to do something, just do it."
 

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Watch The Imelda May New Year's Eve Special on RTÉ One on December 31.

Immediately after the Imelda May special, Sinead Kennedy will be bringing us the NYE Countdown Concert with headliners Kodaline live from Custom House Quay.

The full countdown concert will be broadcast live on the RTÉ Player throughout the evening.

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