In the end I turned down the contract, the reason being I wanted to stay at school and finish my O Levels!
My story in the papers
Firstly, the local papers got hold of the story, then the nationals and it all blew out of proportion. No one at that age (in those days) had ever been offered such a contract and it was certainly something that you didn’t turn down!
But my dancing career didn’t finish there…
After finishing my O Levels (I got all ten!) I wanted to work in the West End. At the time, to work as an artist in the West End the rules were you had to have 40 weeks paid professional work on your equity card, that way you qualified for full equity status.
So I auditioned for a long summer season in Blackpool, where some friends of ours lived. I was lucky enough to get the job, which involved doing two shows every day from May through to October. I was still very young so being able to stay with friends of the family was brilliant.
Performing in the West End
Then I got a regular slot on Top of the Pops, and lots of other television work followed. Next, I went straight into the West End as one of the original cast members of 42nd Street, which was a big musical that came over from America and scooped all the top awards.
We were part of the Royal Variety show and did lots of television appearances too. So thank goodness I made the right decision and stayed on at school!
Did anyone see 42nd Street when it was on?