Belfast Telegraph

West End usher to sing on The Voice

A West End theatre usher is aiming to do better than one of the stars of the musical for which she works when she appears on the new series of BBC One talent show The Voice.

Lucy O'Byrne bids for fame in her own right by performing for the coaches in the first edition of the show, to be screened tomorrow (January 10).

The 23-year-old sells ice creams and programmes, as well as directing people to their seats, at the Apollo Theatre in London's Victoria where award-winning show Wicked is performed to packed houses.

A past star of the musical, Kerry Ellis, who has had an extensive West End career and her own recording deal, famously failed to make it through the initial stage of the show when she auditioned two years ago.

Lucy moved to London from Dublin to follow her dream of landing a stage role in "any show at all that will have me".

"I think everybody would love to see their name in lights," she said. "The job I have in the West End is not what I had in mind. It's not what I want and it's heartbreaking when all I want to do is be singing on that stage."

Her performance of the operatic aria Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana drew praise from the coaches including Ricky Wilson who told her: "It was absolutely marvellous. It's obvious from the audience reaction, this is what you were born to do."

And new coach Rita Ora said: "I was honestly going to start crying, your voice is so beautiful."

Viewers will see whether she gets through to the next stage when the new series kicks off with dozens of hopefuls trying to impress the panel - which also features Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am - enough to get them to spin their chairs.

Among those who will also feature on the first edition of the show, screened at 7pm tomorrow, are Paul Cullinan, who used to play Bungle in children's TV show Rainbow, and Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh's 16-year-old daughter Emilie Cunliffe.

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