Dean back on top with Mr Yipadee

Positive thinking: Dean O'Brien, whose children's character Mr Yipadee has proved a smash hit
Positive thinking: Dean O'Brien, whose children's character Mr Yipadee has proved a smash hit
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A kids entertainer has stormed to the top of a children’s music chart after using positive thinking to turn his life around.

Less than a year ago Dean O’Brien, 34, was down on his luck after losing his job as the boss of a local radio station.

Dean, who lives in Tulketh Brow, in Ashton, Preston, with his wife Lani, 35, and 14-month-old daughter Evolet, feared for the worst.

The dad-of-one said: “I nearly lost everything.

“I had a six-month-old daughter and we were right on the borderline in terms of paying our bills.

“It was very, very tight, the scariest thing, and it was difficult trying to stay positive.”

Dean, originally from New Zealand, decided to look to his love of music for an answer to his financial difficulties.

He created a character called Mr Yipadee, accompanied by a host of farmyard animals, and started writing fun songs designed to plant seeds of established personal development philosophies in children’s minds.

He said: “I play the guitar and I taught nursery age children music in Japan for a year.

“It’s children’s music based on positive thinking.

“I’ve been into positive thinking for a long time.

“I read a book called The Secret, a number one bestseller about achieving what you want, after I lost my job and I was feeling a bit down.

“I realised nobody was particularly making positive thinking music for my daughter or other children.

“I had been creating children’s music and I decided just to go for it.”

Dean began performing the songs at children’s parties and putting on shows at children’s centres, including Mini Magee’s in Preston city centre and Giddy Kids in Ribbleton, to get “firsthand feedback from the people who matter”.

Norman Tenray, the managing director of Longridge-based builders merchants Obas UK, allowed him to use one of the firm’s offices, and Dean set up a website with links to his songs and videos.

Eventually he released a digital album called the Yes I Can Club.

And last Monday at midnight it reached the top of the UK’s iTunes Children’s Music Chart, ahead of albums by CBeebies and Disney.

He said: “The response we’ve had is just amazing - we’re so lucky.

“In losing my job we’ve been through some very difficult times.

“There is so much doom and gloom at the moment and I was forced into a position to run with my own business. It’s just kind of come together.

“I worked in the media industry, which is full of egos, and now I get to work with kids, who are so cool, giving them big smiles and laughter.”