Young singer voices her ambition for an O2 Arena showcase

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2011
On song: Francesca Harris

On song: Francesca Harris

An Arkley teenager has set her sights on singing at London's O2 Arena next year after progressing in a national competition.

Francesca Harris, 13, only found her singing voice two years ago when, listen-ing to music on the ra-dio, she started joining in.

Now the JFS pupil is a member of a gospel choir in Walthamstow and accustomed to performing to audiences of 600.

At the beginning of the summer, she was one of more than 8,000 young musicians to audition for the Open Mic UK live music competition, singing for a place in the final.

Francesca charmed the judges with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's ballad Hurt and will be among 20 under-16s at the regional finals in Hayes.

The JFS pupil is used to performing before large audiences

The next stage would be the area final, after which comes the O2 Arena showcase.

She would relish the opportunity to belt out a hit by one of her favourites - Adele, Mariah Carey or Bette Midler - in front of celebrity judges, DJs and an audience of 2,500. The overall winner gets a record deal and a £30,000 investment. The age group winners get the chance to join the Open Mic UK tour.

"I would not be ner-vous if I won," Francesca said. "It would be amazing."

Last updated: 9:22am, September 6 2011