Mamma Mia I Have A Dream judge reflects on losing BBC talent show aged 17

MAMMA MIA! I Have a Dream cast open show with a classic

Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream judge Samantha Barks is a West End legend in her own right, having starred in everything from Les Miserables to Frozen.

The 33-year-old has also been in Oliver, Chicago, Cabaret and Pretty Woman: The Musical.

The Isle Of Man star rose to fame after competiting on the BBC talent show I’d Do Anything when she was just 17 years old.

I’d Do Anything was a starsearch show looking for an unknown lead to play Nancy in the West End revival of Oliver.

While Samantha made it into the final, she ended up in third place. Despite not winning the show, she has gone on to become one of the biggest faces in theatre.

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She recently jetted off to Corfu in Greece to judge Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream where a bunch of singers are hoping to play the lead roles of Sophie and Sky in the West End show Mamma Mia!

Speaking to and other media about her career, Samantha explained: “I was on a talent show when I was 17 and it was a big honour to get to be on this side.

“I think one of the big differences is that we were in Corfu in the sun so you felt like you were on holiday.

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“I felt like I had a lovely holiday and that was how it was.”

Each week Samantha and her fellow judges, Jessie Ware, Alan Carr and Glee star Amber Riley have to vote off contestants.

The star continued: “I feel every single contestant can walk away with their head held high. They all did a brilliant job and I am so proud of them.”

Reflecting on landing the role on the ITV show, Samantha gushed: “It was so exciting to get this job as it is something which is so personal to me.

“It really hit us when we had to send someone home. Me and Jessie would wake up every morning for the debrief, we went to sleep thinking about it.

“I came third, don’t think that your career is over, this is just the beginning. This is the start of an exciting career, they are all so young and have done themselves so proud.”

Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream continues on Sunday at 6.15pm on ITV.

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