RESIDENTS of Brookeborough were greeted with the sight of a film crew roaming about as the village’s resident Country music star was making a video.
Malcolm McDowell had organised the shoot to film a video for his new song which is a tribute to his parents – Douglas and Doreen.
The song and its video, “Stand By You”, will not be out until autumn which is down to Malcolm timing the release to coincide with his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
He said: “The song I’ve recorded is called ‘Stand By You’. It is about a couple who have stood together so long through all the bad and good stuff which is what the video is about.
“I had the film crew feature my parents around Brookeborough. We had them looking at their wedding album as they celebrate 50 years married next September.
“The video focuses more on them. I did that deliberately because I wanted a memorial-type thing that in years to come – when everybody’s gone – my parents will still be there and animated in the video.
“It will be a while before both the song and the video will be out. I’ll will be aiming to release both near the date of their wedding anniversary – which is September 15.
“We’re planning a big party – and Country (music) night – on the day itself to be held at the church hall in Aghavea which we will hope to raise funds for cancer research.”
Malcolm’s mother is herself a cancer survivor having been told that she wouldn’t be able to talk again or walk properly. However, Doreen McDowell is today very much walking and talking.
“My mother was diagnosed with mouth cancer,” adds Malcolm. She found a wee tiny spot on the side of her cheek and was given a spray and an antibiotic.
“I said to her that I didn’t think that was right and asked her to go to another doctor. She did and the doctor she saw knew instantly that it was cancer. Within a couple of weeks, it spread to the bone and her face – it was so aggressive. We were told that it was likely that she would not survive.
“She received surgery at Dundonald hospital (Belfast). The surgeon said she would probably not walk properly and that because of the procedure done with her face, she probably wouldn’t talk at all.
“That was three years ago. Now she is out walking five miles twice a day and after a couple months, she started talking with the same strong voice she always had.”
Sadly, Malcolm has also had his own health troubles.
He said: “I’m doing very little these days because of my own health. On a normal day, I wake up and I’m vomiting. I did have a benign brain tumour. After having that removed, in 2019 I was diagnosed with having a massive tumour in my bowel. I was told that I probably had that in me for three years.
“I’d been told that if I hadn’t got surgery on it immediately, I probably would have died. But since then, I haven’t really got fully better. I seem to be diagnosed with new things all the time such as osteoporosis – and I’m only 45-years-old.
“I’m waiting for a consultant to get back to me to tell me the results of all the tests I’ve had done and tell me what’s going on as I’m very weak all the time and I only have sight in one eye.
“It’s upsetting because I’m sitting here and there’s this rambling in my head of what I want to do. Unfortunately, I have to accept that I can’t.”