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Sports Personality and Rugby Pundit extraordinaire Brent Pope is the mystery celebrity singing on Charity You’re A Star for the IRFU Charitable Trust. Vote for Brent on 1513 71 71 03

New Zealand Rugby Personality Brent Pope has paid tribute to everyone who voted to keep him in Charity You’re A Star over the weekend.  Brent (45), who was so nervous on Saturday night that he confused the opening lines of “Fly Me to the Moon” live on stage, got the thumbs down on his singing talent from judge Brendan O’Connor.

But following a superb rendition of “A Wonderful World” on Sunday evening’s elimination show, Brendan O’Connor exclaimed “You can sing in Louis Armstrong’s voice but not in your own!” and admitted there was hope yet for Pope.

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Despite looking absolutely terrified as he awaited the results of the public vote, Brent made it through to Tuesday night.  While he says for the sake of the charity he wants to stay in as long as possible, he admits that taking the stage over the past few days has been ‘terrifying’.  “It hasn’t been enjoyable.  It’s 13 hours a day of pure stress.”

Still, Brent is willing to endure the terror for the sake of the IRFU Charitable Trust.  Through his presence on Charity You’re A Star, the IRFU Charitable Trust are anxious to raise much needed funds to support injured players and their families through help with locomotory expenses, specialised equipment (such as lifting equipment, beds, or wheelchairs), home alterations, medical expenses, nursing and caring costs, motor vehicles etc.

Serious rugby injury is a frightening prospect for any player, and his, or her, family.  Rugby is a contact game and injuries are a reality. Over the years there have been a number of players seriously injured involving various forms of paralysis.

Brent got involved in Charity You’re A Star, quite simply to support a cause and raise money for a charity that affected people from a world he was a huge part of.

He had seen the show in other years and was hugely reluctant and nervous about doing it when they approached him. After careful consideration, however, he said the needs of the charity outweighed his personal fears.

He sat down and thought about the charity aspect the most.   “I realised that as rugby was the best part of my life for the last 20 years it was important to do something to give something back to the sport. The costs are ongoing for injured players.” 

Brent had never sung in front of anyone in his life and the prospect was nerve wracking for him.  “I had sung in the bath and the shower and didn’t think I was too bad, but since starting in Charity You’re A Star and listening back to myself. I admit I sound horrendous!”

“It’s a big change for me and pushing me completely out of my comfort zone.”

Every vote is essential so please dial 1513 717103 / Northern Ireland 09011820003 or text VOTE BRENT to 53600. Lines remain open 24 hours for the two weeks duration of the competition.

Votes cost 60 cents / 50 pence (from mobile normally costs a little more).