Kildare singer-songwriter Col Patterson gets us in the Christmas mood with his new song, Bedford Falls, which was inspired by Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life. Col appears on tonight's Late Late Show to perform the song. We asked him the BIG questions . . .

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After college, Col got a steady job in the civil service but gigged in the Mean Fiddler and Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin, always dreaming of being a fulltime songwriter.

But a random one-punch assault in the early 2000s led to a downward spiral in his mental health, leaving him housebound and suffering acute depression. He withdrew from life, stopped gigging, and left his job.

Music saved him and after he moved back home with his parents, his cousins from Monaghan and Roscommon started to travel down regularly to jam with Col, and his carpenter Dad built him a studio in the back garden.

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"The songwriting and radio play has restored me," he says. "It got me through dark times and that's why my music is so infused with the themes of love, loss, and mental health.

"After years of paralysing social anxiety, playing live has been a more daunting prospect for me, but I’ve taken small steps.

"I see myself as a re-emerging artist, not a new one. I feel I was on a trajectory from which I was derailed for years. Getting back into music has fed something in me that was missing all that time. Seeing the responses, I’ve had I’ve come to acknowledge that I’m actually good at this and it’s all I want to do."

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Col’s debut album, Kicks, with The Vinylheads was released in 2015 to critical acclaim and as his new-found confidence grew, he released Hangover Moon, his first solo album under his own name in 2017.

Singles Old Men Talk, Brigid’s Land, Lilytown and Heart Listens Out followed.

Speaking about Bedford Falls, Col says: "I’ve always been a huge fan of It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve often felt like George Bailey, having his tough times on that bridge in Bedford Falls. Love saved me, like it did him."

New singles and an album, Dare You Come to Mind, will be released in 2023.

Tell us three things about yourself . . .

I'm from Kildare Town, which people now think is called Kildare Village. I write songs and grow things. I have an unhealthy relationship with crisps.

How would you describe your music?

I write songs about love, loss, mental health, and the chaos of the world, mostly at the piano. I can't read music but have a daycent ear. Kinda pop, sometimes pop rock, hopefully with a heart.

Who are you musical inspirations?

I grew up in a house with Bowie, The Clash, The Jam and The Police blasting through the house. Bowie, Paul Weller and keyboardists Ray Manzarak and Dave Greenfield were big influences.

What was the first gig you ever attended?

Joe Dolan at Goffs in the late 7Os with the Mammy.

What was the first record you ever bought/streamed/downloaded?

Our House, Madness 1983.

What's your favourite song at the moment?

Out of My Head - First Aid Kit.

What’s your favourite lyric of all time?

"Whatever happened to, all the heroes, All the Shakespearoes, They watched their Rome burn". No More Heroes - The Stranglers.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Nobody Does it Better - Carly Simon.

Where can people find more information about you and your music?

Bandcamp, Facebook.