It is eight years since a 16 year old Diana Vickers shot to fame on X Factor. Catherine Scott founds out what she’s been up to.
Diana Vickers was just 16 when she won through to the finals of the XFactor. However, she says she never really wanted a career as a pop star.
“I was going through a tough time at home. My parents had just split up and all I wanted to do was leave school and become an actress,” explains the Lancashire lass.
“It was my friend who put me in for XFactor as a way of cheering me up. I’d seen the series where Leona Lewis won and what it did for her and so I thought why not, although I never really took it very seriously but then I suddenly found myself in front the judges and they liked me.”
She came fourth in the series won by Alexandra Burke and she did get some criticism a long the way.
“My mum was a huge support to me. She just kept saying it’s just television. Do your best but don’t get to worked up about it. I think my northern background really helped keep my feet on the ground.”
And they needed too. She landed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records and saw her first single and album got to number one in the charts.
“I left home at 17 moving to London and bought my first house in Sloane Square. It was surreal looking back on it.” For many teenagers fame and fortune so young could have gone to heir heads, but not Diana Vickers. “There was no way my family would let me do that,” she laughs. “My big sister Charlotte in particular has been amazing strength to me. She’s moved to London and we live together now. If I ever start to get worked up about something she just says ‘Diana get a grip’ and that’s it.” She admits that the media attention wasn’t always welcome. “I remember being on the front page of the Sun once and I thought ‘What’s going on?’ They did want to know all about your personal life and that was sometimes hard.”
She may have been living the dream but Diana always had her eye on something else.
“I did want to be a pop singer, but it isn’t what I wanted to do forever, after about four years and while making my second album I knew that I still really wanted to be an actress.”
She told her agent as much and started to audition for roles. After her scond album was completed she starred in the West End production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, for which she received excellent reviews from the press and the role won her the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards ‘London Newcomer of the Year’. She then went on to star in the West End production of Duck House alongside Ben Miller and Simon Shepherd.
Now she is touring The Rocky Horror show which is in Bradford this week and then York in April.
“It is a great show to be involved in, if exhausting,” says Diana who plays Janet Weiss alongside Emmerdale’s Ben Freeman, plays Brad Majors. S Club 7 star, Paul Cattermole is Eddie and Dr. Scott. Liam Tamne, from The Voice is Frank N Furter. “The audience get so involved and know all the words. I was worried they might not like me but I have been taken in to the Rocky Horror family.”