I suppose there is a chance I might get into a little bit of trouble for blogging about this as you will shortly understand, but I thought it would make an interesting read for anyone that happens to stumble across it. . .
In 1996 I entered the BBC Radio 2 Choirgirl Of The Year Competition. My school thought I stood a good chance so I took the plunge and sent off my cassette (yes it was that long ago we still used cassettes!)
2000 applicants were whittled down to the final 8 and amazingly yours truly selected – who had to perform in a live Final Competition at the Whitworth Hall in Manchester, watched by several hundred guests and broadcast live to the Radio 2 listeners around the world. Incredibly exciting and nerve wracking for a naive 15 year old!
We were treated like VIP’s by the BBC who accommodated us in a hotel in Didsbury and made every effort to help us feel at ease and get to know each other, all of whom were lovely girls from different parts of the UK.
One of the other finalists was a pretty brunette from Wales.. hometown Neath.. any more clues needed? Yes it was the gorgeous Katherine Jenkins.
Katherine was very friendly and I remember we got along really well. I even got her autograph on the Programme; perhaps I knew instinctively this girl might go far!
How did we get on in this competition of voices? I was awarded 3rd place together with a firm handshake I’ll never forget from Sir Harry Secombe (the guest judge) and a glass plaque. Katherine didn’t make it into the top three.
So since Katherine has been a household name my ‘claim to fame’ is that I actually beat her in a singing competition.. though it was a very long time ago and I am the first to agree she has since gone on to do far bigger and better things with her singing career!!
I entered the competition again in 1997 and edged up the leader board to Runner-Up but in ’98 I was sadly too old (!) to enter.
Below is a photo of the 1996 finalists - I’m second from the right and Katherine fourth from the right.
Now keep your fingers crossed her PR people don’t find this and shut down my Blog! (unlikely..)