She May Not Have Got To Be Nancy...

But Chiswick’s Samantha Barks is still “very very proud” of herself

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Samantha Barks


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After weeks of practising, live shows and enduring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s critiques, Chiswick’s Samantha Barks’ dream of becoming Nancy ended on Saturday when she came third in the final of ‘I’ll Do Anything’.

The tv competition, held to find a new Nancy to play alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End stage production of Oliver!, was aired on BBC over a number of weeks and ended in a tense and dramatic evening with Samantha performing alongside fellow finalists Jodie (who eventually won the role) and judges’ favourite Jessie Buckley.

After an opening performance of I'd Do Anything, Samantha performed another solo and a duet with one of the winning Olivers before receiving the usual round of feedback from Andrew Lloyd Webber and the expert panel of Denise Van Outen, John Barrowman, Barry Humphries and Cameron Mackintosh.

At the end of the first live show, Samantha received fewest votes, putting her in third place. Speaking after the vote, Samantha said, "I'm very, very proud of myself – I made it to the final which is something I thought I'd never do. It's been an amazing experience – thanks to everyone who has supported me."

After dropping out of school because of the competition, Samantha spoke to the BBC about unusual fan mail, Graham Norton and her ideal Bill Sikes.
She said, “I haven't had strangely unusual fan mail. I have had some roses and some chocolates from some boys, which was sweet. I haven't had anything too weird, like a sock or some mittens, which I thought I'd get because I'm scared of them. But I haven't. So that's a relief.”

Of Graham Norton she commented “When the cameras aren't on, I was really surprised because he's so down to earth and chatty, he does actually care about us all individually. He is really hilarious which I was pleasantly surprised at because most comedians off camera might be a bit dull, but he's not at all, he's brilliant.”

And on the subject of her ideal Bill Sikes, Samantha said, “I think Johnny Depp would be an incredible Bill Sikes. Obviously, it's not going to happen but it would be brilliant because he's good at getting into character roles and I just think he'd be a really interesting and different Bill Sikes.”

June 2, 2008