Preston dad is No. 2 in iTunes kids’ chart!

Cbebees presenter Alex Winters , Mr Yipadee and Big Jo from Jo-Jingles join youngsters at St Helens playcentre Central Street, St Helens.

Cbebees presenter Alex Winters , Mr Yipadee and Big Jo from Jo-Jingles join youngsters at St Helens playcentre Central Street, St Helens.

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A children’s entertainer who risked everything to follow his heart, is now riding high, thanks to his young fans.

A children’s entertainer who risked everything to follow his heart, is now riding high, thanks to his young fans.

Dean O’Brien, or Mr Yipadee, to his devoted followers, is currently at number two in the iTunes Children’s Chart, with his new Christmas album and it isn’t the first time he has been near the top spot.

The dad-of-one from Tulketh Brow, Preston, only started performing in January last year after he lost his job just over two years ago.

Dean said: “I had a dream for quite a few years of creating uplifting fun children’s music that inspires self-belief, self-esteem, and well-being for little kids and I was working away quietly on it in my head.

“But then I lost my job and had a six month old baby at the time.

“My options were to go back into the industry that I had worked in for many years or follow my heart.”

Dean’s heart overruled his head and, although the first six months were tough, he stuck at it and, through a chance encounter at a soft play centre, his career suddenly took a turn.

Dean, who has played and written music since he was six, said: “At the time we literally didn’t earn a penny, the business was costing money to develop the music and supporting materials.

“My wife, Lani, and I ended up going for a crisis meeting to Giddy Kids soft play centre to discuss options as we had nothing and had to borrow money off my parents just to survive.

“It was while we were there I realised that the centre was full of children that would likely enjoy my music so I asked to do a free performance and they said yes.”

From then on, Giddy Kids booked Dean weekly and his album, the ‘Yes I Can Club’ rocketed up the charts, eventually securing number one on the iTunes Children’s Chart.

“I didn’t sleep for about two days with excitement,” said Dean.

‘The Worlds Greatest Christmas Party’ went to Number two last week and Dean, had no idea it was there until a friend called him to say they had just bought it to help me in the charts.

He said: “I hadn’t considered it a possibility as Christmas is the busiest time of the year with album sales.

Dean, who originally hails from New Zealand, has since played at Glastonbury and continues to tour the country with CBeebies favourite, Joe Chambers, while also writing children’s books and developing a range of digital games and apps.

He said: “I’m truly living a dream because every day I get to see hundreds of children at the same age as my three-year-old daughter that are laughing, singing, and dancing with my music.

“Parents come up to me every day and tell me their kids will only listen to my albums in the car. I put a lot of love into making the albums and it’s amazing to know that it’s being enjoyed.”