The first headliner to grace London's O2 Arena is launching a community choir in her home town of Isleworth.

Rietta Austin, of Hillary Drive, Isleworth, played to an audience in a community concert at the prestigious east London venue on June 20, 2007, three days before the official opening.

The Kiwi has also appeared in BBC spin-off show Strictly Confidential and the Strictly Come Dancing live arena tour.

She now plans to combine her twin passions of music and dance to form a community choir, which will perform a broad range of music accompanied by some Strictly-inspired dance moves.

"When I came over from New Zealand I got out of Heathrow, parked myself in Isleworth and never moved. There's such a lovely community feel here and I wanted to do something for people living in the neighbourhood," she said.

"I thought it would be nice to set up a choir that does something a bit different. The idea is to encompass musical styles across the board, from funk to soul, and to incorporate some of the dance moves I've used on Strictly."

Rietta Austin on the Strictly Come Dancing live tour
 

Ms Austin is jointly launching the choir with Eliza Emery, the Clapham-based daughter of the late comic Dick Emery, with whom she is part of a comedy duo Austin & Emery.

The Auckland-born singer, who fell in love with London after travelling to the UK in 1999 to perform at the Edinburgh Festival, hopes the group will perform at venues around Isleworth and further afield.

She joked that one of their first gigs could be at a celebration of her wedding next year to fiance Nick Meier.

Although she has yet to settle on a name for the new choir, the monikers under consideration include Strictly Inspired Singers.

The choir is due to launch this summer and Ms Austin, who is still looking for a venue, is keen to hear from anyone interested, regardless of age or ability. If you want to get involved, email info@riettaaustin.com with your name and contact details.