The Irishman will retire from the stage at the end of his run in the show and one of the highlights of his last production in New York has been the hanging of his caricature at Broadway mecca Sardi's, where pictures of all the theatre greats hang.

"Years ago I pounded the pavements here in Manhattan looking for a job as a tap dancer and I didn't have any luck, but somebody brought me into Sardi's for a drink one night and I looked at all those pictures on the walls and I thought, 'God, isn't that amazing?'" he tells TV show New York Live.

"I never dreamed that it would be me, but I think if you work hard enough for long enough, somebody's gonna notice."

The dancer reveals his Sardi's honour was supposed to be a secret, but his wife was so thrilled she had to tell him.

"She was told not to tell me but it's my wife," he adds. "I'm glad she did."

And Flatley reveals he recently had some very special guests from his home in County Cork at a show after two fans caught up with him while he was jogging in Central Park.

"I was running and I thought I was keeping a good pace but they caught me easily and they came to the show," he chuckles. "I was so delighted to meet them. They were having a girls' weekend in New York City."

Flatley hopes to spend more time at home with his wife and son after he retires from the stage, and he plans to get really serious about his passion for painting.

"I've been painting for years and years but I never showed anybody my work," he explains. "It was kind of a secret thing; I keep them (artwork) in (Irish home) Castlehyde, in our dungeon there, and then recently I put one up for auction and it made a lot of money... to save Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin, so then they asked me would I sell some more and do some more things, so I started slowly letting them out and now it's just taken off."

Flatley will be performing in his latest show throughout the holidays, wrapping up the production on 3 January (16).