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Lucy Kay

December 2014

Since coming second on Britain’s Got Talent, Nottinghamshire raised classical singer Lucy Kay has had a Top 20 album, performed for royalty, hobnobbed at celebrity parties, returned to Hong Kong where she performed with Cantamus and reunited with her dad. But what the 25-year-old heavy metal fan wants to do is rock out at the Download Festival, she tells Simon Wilson

SINGING in front of millions of people on TV every Saturday night can prepare you for most things but Lucy Kay admits the nerves were active when she was faced by a table of royalty and celebrities watching her perform at Windsor Castle.
It was a charity event to mark the Duchess of York’s 55th birthday and Lucy, who grew in Nottinghamshire, was a guest singer.
“Kate Moss, Elton John, Naomi Campbell and the Duke and Duchess were on the head table watching me,” says the 25-year-old.
“It was insane. I’d been to the champagne reception and sat down for dinner but I couldn’t eat. It was nerves; I was worried a out my voice. I was so paranoid that I wouldn’t be able to sing. My voice in the soundcheck was hardly there so all I did all day was have honey and hot water, because that’s really good for the throat.
“I sat down for the dinner but I had to excuse myself because I knew that if I talked I wouldn’t be able to sing. And it was quite hot and stuffy in the room. So I went back to the dressing room.
“I was gutted because I love my food. I did get to look around the Castle and saw the Queen’s throne in this grand meeting room. Everything’s gold.”
Come show time she delivered Nessun Dorma.
“The Duchess knew I was ill and she was shouting ‘come on Lucy!’. And I got a standing ovation, which was amazing.”
The opera classic from Puccini's Turandot was one of the songs Lucy performed on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year, where she came runner up to Collabro.
She will be their special guest on a tour that comes to Nottingham in January - a homecoming for the soprano who grew up in Kirby-in-Ashfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield.
“I was back there recently for my mum’s 60th birthday party and stayed for a few days, which was nice,” says Lucy, moved to Glasgow aged 18 to study music.
“Although I was ill for the entire time,” she laughs.
And you passed on your germs to the rest of your family?
“Well, I love to share.”
Lucy was born in Leicestershire but moved to Nottinghamshire with her mum and older sister when her parents split up. He eldest sister and brother stayed in Leicestershire as did her dad.
She would see her dad once a year at Christmas but they are in touch more now - but not because of her success, she insists.
“He always came to the Christmas Cantamus concert,” she says of the Mansfield based girls choir that she joined while at school.
It was her escape from the bullying she endured at school, something she spoke about on Britain’s Got Talent.
“It was at my grandad’s funeral two years ago, before the show, that we re-connected,” she says.
“He loved his dad a lot and his passing made him realise how important family is. It wasn’t a case of him coming out of the blue because of Britain’s Got Talent.
“ We speak a lot now. We’ve been making up for lost time. At a time that I really needed him, he wasn’t there; that was the hardest thing but he knows that.”
After Britain’s Got Talent, her debut album Fantasia reached No. 18 and topped the classical chart.
“I beat Maria Callas to No.1,” she says of the opera legend.
“Her music is timeless; she’ll be around forever. And I never imagined that I’d be above her on the chart. Sorry Maria.
“And to reach the Top 20 on the main chart, beating people like Paloma Faith... is weird. I never thought in a million years I’d do that.”
She’s also performed at a charity event for Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson, appeared on everything from Sky News to QVC, and met Keith Lemon. She fancies Keith Lemon.
“How can you not?,” she laughs.
“Seriously, I really like funny guys. I think he’s hilarious on Celebrity Juice.”
So they might have a face like a bag of spanners, but as long as they are funny...?
“Yes. My boyfriend has said to me ‘you like really fancy weird looking guys and you’re going out with me...’” I’ve assured him that he’s got both looks and personality.”
Her chief ambition now is to play the Download Festival, the annual rock weekender at Donington Park.
“I got into heavy metal when I was 16. I saw Fightstar at Rock City because my friend was really into them. Then I was introduced to Pantera, Metallica, Deftones and Killswitch Engage.”
Lucy, who recently returned from Hong Kong and Dubai, knows that metal giants Slipknot are due to play the Capital FM Arena in January but she can’t go because she’s on her own tour.
“All of my friends are going. That’s a downside to this job, you have to be prepared to miss things.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Download but I never could because of Cantamus. And now I can’t because I don’t know what my schedule will be like.”
Maybe you could play it?
She laughs: “I could! I’d do opera interpretations of rock songs. And call it rockera.”

Lucy Kay will join Collabro at the Royal Concert Hall on January 30. Tickets are £19.50 to £38.50, from the venue. Call 0115 989 5555 or go to

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