A date with Kylie and Tom for veteran singer... aged 21

Kelsey-Beth Crossley.
Kelsey-Beth Crossley.
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It’s no surprise Kelsey-Beth Crossley, about to light up our screens on The Voice, went into showbusiness.

She’s been immersed in that line of work all her life.

Parents John and Carol are agents and Kelsey-Beth remembers growing up with a steady stream of showbiz types coming in and out of the house.

“There was always people around,” said the 21-year-old from Fleetwood.

“When I was about seven I remember a girl coming to play the piano and sing. I’d never even thought about doing anything like that but after that I begged my mum and dad to buy me a new piano.

“They got me a second-hand one on the proviso I played it and when I got bored of it after about three months, they said ‘no, we’ve paid for it now – you’re playing it!’

“So I carried on, did my first talent show when I was eight – at the Marine Hall, which I somehow managed to win – and that was it. I remember the buzz I got when the audience were applauding and it was all I wanted to do from then on.”

Within a year or so, after winning talent shows galore, Kelsey-Beth was playing lead roles in musicals.

Next she landed a role in BBC drama Saving Becky, then, at the age of 14, was selected to play Scarlett Nicholls in Emmerdale. She stayed five years and became one of the ITV soap’s best-loved characters.

“It was a fantastic time for me, though quite hard with my schooling,” said Kelsey-Beth, who went to Rossall School, then Bispham High. “I was doing my GCSE’s and had a tutor on set, so it was quite hard studying while holding down a full-time job.

“But it was a great experience and I loved it.”

And now the latest chapter in her rollercoaster life starts when she appears in front of Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue and the rest of the judges on BBC show The Voice tomorrow ... although if left up to her, she might not have bothered even going for an audition.

“My piano teacher, a lovely man called Neil Oldham, told me they were holding auditions in Blackpool and my first thought was ‘no, I don’t fancy that’,” said Kelsey-Beth.

“Because I’ve been in the entertainment business a long time, I know how competitive it is and I thought a show like The Voice would be even worse.

“I didn’t really want to go through a process that I thought looked so intense and exhausting.”

Fortunately, after a bit of persuasion from Neil, Kelsey-Beth relented. She got through a string of auditions, including one at the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool when “people were queuing around the block”.

“I looked at everyone else and they looked so quirky and like born performers,” she said.

“Then there was me tottering about in high heels – I thought ‘I’ve no chance here’.”

How wrong she was. Kelsey-Beth was selected to appear and although we’re not allowed to tell you how she does, we can say it’s well worth watching tomorrow’s show.

“I can’t wait to see it on TV,” she said. “It was filmed back in October and the hardest part has been that I can’t tell anyone how I did.

“My friends have often said to me you look shattered and I can’t tell them why because we’re not allowed to say till after the show has been screened.”

The Voice is on BBC 1 tomorrow at 7.15pm.