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Jean, 76, wants to show she has still got talent
AT the age of 76, Jean Barford is hoping that her time in the spotlight has finally arrived.
The pensioner is this week auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent – one of the country’s biggest reality TV shows.
Mrs Barford is hoping her first audition will take her through to the televised auditions of Britain’s Got Talent so she can sing in front of a live audience – and media mogul Simon Cowell.
Mrs Barford, of Holt Heath, near Worcester, was inspired to apply for the show after her daughter Jennifer organised for her to make a recording of Ave Maria for Mothering Sunday.
The performance was the first time Mrs Barford has sung in 50 years and she will also perform the song when she takes part in the preliminary auditions at Birmingham’s ICC this week.
“I wish I could have had this opportunity 50 years ago,” she said. “I’m not expecting overnight success, There are much better acts than I could ever be, but just to sing in front of Simon Cowell would be the ultimate for me.
“I’m not expecting to be a Susan Boyle, I don’t want to be.
“Just to perform for the judges and the audience would be a dream come true.”
Mrs Barford started singing when she was 10 years old, but was made to give it up when her mother died.
She said: “I was 16 when my mum died and my dad told me I had to get a proper job, so my two main ambitions were squashed.
“I wanted to work in kennels with dogs and I wanted to sing.
“But my dad told me they were ‘silly ideas’.
“The last time I sang was in a church concert in 1951.” Mrs Barford started fund-raising for a charity which helps greyhounds 30 years ago, fulfilling one of her dreams.
Her daughter booked a session at a studio in Birmingham after Mrs Barford said she would love to make a recording while she still has her voice.
She said the song choice of Ave Maria is poignant because it is the last song she performed in public before she was made to give it up.