Billie’s a singing star

A TALENTED Ripon schoolgirl has made it into second place in a glittering national competition.

Twelve-year-old Billie Tweddle made it to the final of the Festival4Stars talent competition, where music industry judges praised her “great vocals” and “great potential”.

Celebrity judge and TV presenter Richard Arnold said: “Exquisitely performed. Hypnotic, absolutely heartfelt. I loved this. Best all-rounder so far.”

Billie represented the North of England in the under-14 solo singers’ category, and found herself up against 10 other young hopefuls at the contest in Glasgow.

She was thrilled with the results and went on to perform with the winner at an evening black tie dinner.

“It was my first big competition, so I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone had a lot more experience than me, and I had never done a competition like this before.

“I was the only singer in my category singing with a guitar, and very different to everyone else, so I didn’t expect it at all.

“I thought they would go for the big loud song instead.”

Billie sang Secret Heart by Ron Sexsmith in the competition and Skinny Love by Bon Iver at the evening dinner.

She first entered the competition when her dance group Switch Dance entered the dance element, and when friend Millie Dodds encouraged her to join in.

Billie travelled to Glasgow on Saturday, November 19 with her parents and grandparents.

She has her eye on a singing career in the future, but after the long journey to Glasgow plans to stick to competitions closer to home in the future.

“It was quite exhausting, and every heat in a competition was on a Sunday so it took up a lot of weekends,” she said.

“I am still going to enter competitions but keep them more local.”