My mother says I started singing as soon as I could speak!
I grew up in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valleys with younger sister Beth and my parents, Michelle and David, and I’m so proud of my Welsh roots. My passion for singing comes from my mother, who’s got a great voice, and music has always been a huge part of my life.
Because I was keen, I took a few singing lessons with a tutor in school, and appeared in a Joshua Foundation Show at the fabulous Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff – and I think it was there, on the big stage, that my dream to perform in the West End began.
I was determined not to neglect my studies though, and whilst doing A-levels at Tonypandy Community College, I followed the yellow brick road out of Wales and into Oz to audition for the part of Dorothy in BBC’s hugely popular Over The Rainbow series. From over 10,000 hopefuls, I was fortunate to get to the nail-biting final show where I was awarded the runner-up title.
I was the runner-up but I guess Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber must have been impressed with my performances, and in August 2011 he invited me to don the legendary ruby slippers and play the alternate Dorothy in selected performances alongside the legendary Michael Crawford’s Wizard in the most famous theatre in the world, the London Palladium. I loved the experience of performing with Michael.
I was then handed the role of Dorothy full time and become a leading lady of the West End at The London Palladium.
Alongside me would be a new Wizard, the star of Strictly, Russell Grant. I was so excited, I thought he was hilarious on Strictly, and I would get my stars read at the same time!
The Palladium’s became a second home to me, and when I wasn’t there I would study Performing Arts at the prestigious Arts Educational in London, which had been generously funded for me by Lord Lloyd-Webber. I’m just so grateful for the amazing opportunities Bill Kenwright and The Lord has been able to give me, and I hope my performances in this great show go some way to repaying them both.
I was also also busy away from the West End, especially in my homeland. I played to a 65,000 crowd in the Millennium Stadium to support the boys in red during their semi- final match against France in the Rugby World Cup, and featured in numerous television programmes, including a week-long stint on S4C’s cariad@iaith/love4language where I had so much fun learning my native language with a bunch of Welsh celebs. ITV also followed me on my fantastic journey over the past year for a documentary called Dare to Dream.
Since leaving The London Palladium and Wizard of Oz its been just as busy. As soon as I left the show I went straight into filming a major movie with Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman and Nick Frost, its Called The Worlds End and will be out this Summer.
Then at Christmas I had my own TV Show on BBC One Wales where I performed some of my favourite songs with the BBC National Orchestra and Special guests Michael Ball and Only Boys Aloud. It was amazing!
Singing Live is very special to me and I was very lucky to be invited onto a Christmas tour with Russell Watson and performed at the London Royal Albert Hall and Manchester Bridgewater Hall. This has led into my very own first UK tour I am so looking forward to I will be singing my favourite songs and meeting new friends along the way.
I have had a fantastic start to my career and performing at The London Palladium, staring in a movie, having my own TV show, singing at Stadiums, Festivals, Arenas and Theatres has been brilliant. I guess I dared to dream when I first set foot on the stage of the Wales Millennium Centre, and now those dreams really have come true.