FROM the age of five Leara Sutherland-Payne could be seen dancing round her Pinner living room singing in to a hairbrush.
So she was ecstatic when she got the call last month telling her she had made it through to the live heats of a brand new reality music show taking the country by storm.
The 15-year-old and her 'Glee club choir' are set to perform live on Channel 5's Don't Stop Believing competition in the hope of catching the eye of showbiz executives.
Leara, who lives in Fore Street, Pinner, has already had success in theatre productions of Billy Elliot, Beauty and the Beast and High School Musical with the Songtime Theatre Arts school, which has schools all over the South East, but is hopeful that this new experience will provide a breakthrough in performing arts.
She said: “We were told some time ago about the auditions coming up and after we entered we heard nothing for a while.
“But when we were told we had got through and were going to sing live on TV we were obviously all really excited. It's fantastic to know that out of 3,000 groups who auditioned we got picked for the final 30. We were delighted. But as the day gets nearer we are becoming a bit nervous.”
Leara, who attends the Songtime Theatre Arts School after her normal schooling days at Haydon School in Eastcote, has often sung alone in the past but says the experience of working with a group has been more fun.
Nineteen others aged between 15 and 21 make up their group, the Songtimers, who will appear in the fourth of five heats on Sunday, and she added: “Now that we are in the summer holidays we have been doing long sessions of rehearsals about six days a week, but we all have a lot of fun.
“You spend a lot of time with the same people so we have all become close friends, so while it has been hard work it has also been very enjoyable. I have always been really into singing and dancing and having experienced this I think I would like to perform in groups more often in the future.”
Despite her long rehearsal sessions however, her mum Patricia says it hasn't compromised her education.
The 41-year-old added: “She has been singing and dancing since I can remember and she has always worked really hard at it because she loves it.
“We have never pushed her into it at all and the time and effort she puts into is all down to her.
“She works very hard at everything she does, always puts 100 per cent in to it, and that shows in her school work as well.
“We are obviously very proud of her and while her and the others are getting a bit nervous about it now, I'll probably be worse than all of them on Sunday.”