A star is born

15 year-old Nancy Petulengro, from the famous Blackpool fortune-telling family, has won through to the regional finals of the Open Mic singing competition.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'13-9-2011
15 year-old Nancy Petulengro, from the famous Blackpool fortune-telling family, has won through to the regional finals of the Open Mic singing competition. PIC BY ROB LOCK'13-9-2011
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SHE may only be 15, but Nancy Petulengro, from Blackpool, has done a duet on stage with Des O’Connor, won the UK accordion championships, performed at London’s Jackson Lane Theatre and got through to the regional finals of the Open Mic singing competition.

Nancy has been playing the accordion since she was just three years old, but only recently began singing.

She has had a busy couple of months, with singing on stage in London, taking part in the Open Mic competition, and will also be appearing at The Grand Theatre in October, in All Hands on Deck.

But the highlight was singing up on stage with Des O’Connor in his recent show at The Grand Theatre.

Nancy – who was home-schooled in accordance with Romany-Gypsy tradition and did not go to secondary school – said: “Being up on stage with Des O’Connor was really good. It was a bit scary really.

“He had asked for anyone who played the piano to go up on stage with him and my family were all pushing me to go up.

“I don’t play the piano, I can only do a bit one-handed.

“But I moved the mic closer and started singing, and then he sang with me and we did a duet.

“I couldn’t believe it, it’s something I will never forget.”

Proud mum Sarah, of Marton, said: “The audience absolutely loved it. Des was really nice about Nancy and said how good she was, especially as she is only 15. It was wonderful.”

Nancy had already impressed with her singing in the Open Mic singing competition and made it through to the live regional finals – live shows which will be held in December in Dewsbury.

If she is successful, she will go through to the grand national finals, for a chance to win a £50,000 recording contract.

She said: “I couldn’t believe I got through to the live show. I haven’t really done a lot of singing, mainly just my accordion playing. I just love singing and performing.

“I really enjoy it and love seeing all the people watching you and smiling.”

She is set to appear on Sky TV in November, in a programme called A Gypsy Life For Me.

And after appearing on stage in London, with Britain’s Got Talent finalist Marrawa, she has been asked by Tony Jo to take part in All Hands on Deck again at The Grand.

Not bad considering Nancy was very poorly when she was born, would regularly stop breathing and her family was told she may never be able to eat solid food.

Mum Sarah said: “It’s just all taken off recently, she’s doing that many things – it’s really exciting.

“When she was born, the holes in her nose were blocked. There were occasions where she couldn’t breathe.

“It was so awful. We used to lie awake at night to check she was still breathing, and she had a heart monitor.

“But she made it through and now she is fine. It makes me all the more proud of her.”