She has taken on Stacey Solomon, Katie Price and Cheryl Cole. Now, celebrity impressionist Francine Lewis is hoping to win over the public on the live semi-final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent show this weekend.
Hertfordshire-based mother-of-two Lewis, 37, received a standing ovation from BGT judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden during her audition act in which she impersonated a string of celebrity figures from TV presenter Holly Willoughby to model Amy Childs from The Only Way is Essex.
“I just thought I would keep it young, fresh and original,” explained Lewis, who has been doing impressions since she was six-years-old.
“I haven’t performed properly for years,” she revealed. “I save it for parties and Friday nights. But I thought, ‘I’ve got nothing to lose if I go on the show. If they don’t like it, then it’s not meant to be.’”
Anticipating this weekend’s show, Lewis said she was “hungry but so nervous I can’t stomach anything.”
Also appearing will be musical theatre act, Chasing the Dream, a 16-strong group of performers aged nine to 50 led by Jewish composer Danny Davies and put through the audition rounds by all four judges.
“Simon Cowell asked if we were the new Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice,” said a delighted Davies, 40, a music teacher at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls and a member of Shaarei-Tsedek Reform synagogue in Whetstone.
Davies says he is driven by “very inspiring young people who are not just into pop songs, but who want to learn about music and drama together.
“Having this public exposure is great. It’s especially hard in musical theatre because they just keep staging repeats. It’s hard for new shows to come through.”
Singer Natalie Green, a 24-year-old former King Solomon student, said that she was “absolutely petrified before we were judged. But I was also excited.”
On rival BBC1 show, The Voice , Essex-based singer Moni Tivony described his triumph in last week’s “battle” phase as “tough… my battle partner was amazing. I was very nervous — the song was out of my comfort zone so I put my “Jewmaican” spin on it." Tivony can be seen tomorrow night in the next phase of the competition.