Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

No place like home for Philippa O’Hara

Philippa O'Hara
Philippa O'Hara
Final 20 Dorothy contestants for the BBC1 show Over the Rainbow. Front Row from left, Emilie Flemming, Danielle Hope, Camille Mesnard, Tasheka Coe, Jenny Douglas, Lauren Samuels, Amy Douglas, Claire Hillier. Middle Row from left, Dani Rayner, Philippa O'Hara, Emma Warren, Katie Honan, Steph Fearon, Tegan Edwards, Bronte Barbe, Stephanie Davis, Sarah Middleton, Back Row from left, Sophie Evans, Jessica Robinson, Claire Harbourne where they will be seen competing to land the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical The Wizard Of Oz.

The ruby slippers may no longer be in reach but Belfast’s would-be Dorothy was full of hopes for the future as she followed the yellow brick road home this week.

Philippa O’Hara (23) saw her dream of playing Dorothy not come true in BBC1’s search for a star show Over the Rainbow.

The programme is seeking to find a star for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next West End spectacular, The Wizard of Oz.

Philippa was one of a group of 10 girls who had missed out on the original cut. The public got to vote one of them through as a wild card. It chose Emilie Fleming (19) as the 11th potential Dorothy

But the Belfast girl was happy to return home and get her first proper night’s sleep after the show.

She said: “It’s great to be home, I missed everyone so much. It was a brilliant experience, the best thing I have ever done. I’ve made friends for life.”

The former Rathmore Grammar School pupil from Finaghy had nothing but nice things to say about her fellow wild cards.

The girls who didn’t make the original Top 10 had lived in a separate apartment but formed a close bond.

“You would think nine or 10 girls living together would be a disaster but they were all so lovely we just laughed the whole time. I must have stomach muscles like a bodybuilder because we just laughed until our ribs hurt,” the local starlet giggled.

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