Acclaimed Irish dancer Michael Flatley has blasted the promoters of shows that attempt to ape his stage hits RIVERDANCE and Lord Of The Dance because they don't have the talent.

The proud Irishman, who is promoting his latest spectacular CELTIC TIGER, is thrilled his shows have prompted global interest in Irish dance, but he hates hearing about poor attempts to copy his art. He explains, "I'm not happy with some of the results - they (dancers) don't keep to the level of dancing and training that made Riverdance and Lord of The Dance world-class entertainment.

"When an Irish dance show isn't done properly, it gives all of us a bad name."

But Flatley is delighted so many people around the world are now discovering Irish dance - thanks to those inspired by his shows.

He adds, "Someone told me that there are 30 Irish dance shows making their way around the world.

"Hundreds of people auditioned for Celtic Tiger. I had Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Hungarians... try for a spot.

"In Moscow, I discovered a school for Irish dance that had 200 students."