There’s a chance I might get into a little bit of trouble for posting about this, as you will shortly understand, but I thought it would make an interesting read for anyone that happens to stumble across my Blog…
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 that we still used cassettes!)
2000 applicants were whittled down to the final 8 – and amazingly yours truly selected as one of the lucky 8 – who had to perform in a live Final competition at the Whitworth Hall in Manchester, watched by several hundred people and broadcast to the Radio 2 listeners – incredibly exciting and nerve wracking for a naive 15 year old!
We were treated like VIP’s by the Beeb who put all 8 of us up in a hotel and made an effort to make us feel at home and get to know each other, all of whom were lovely girls from different parts of the UK.
So to cut to the chase, 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 seem to remember we got along really well that day. I even got her autograph on the Programme for the event.. perhaps I knew instinctively that this girl might go far !
At this point you might be wondering how we faired in this competition of voices? I was awarded 3rd place, together with a firm handshake from Sir Harry Secombe (the guest judge) and a glass plaque for doing so well. But Katherine didn’t get placed in the top three.
So for the last twelve or so years that Katherine has been a household name, my so-called claim to fame is that I have been able to say I actually beat her in a singing competition.
BUT, I think we can safely say that she has since gone on to do far bigger and better things with her singing career!
Just for the record, I entered the competition again in 1997 and edged up the leader board to Runner-Up, but in ’98 I was classed too old to enter again.
Below is a photo of the 1996 finalists - I’m second from the right, Katherine is fourth from the right.
Now I must hope and pray that Katherine’s PR people don’t find this and shut down my Blog?!?!