Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

Reality TV Interview

Danielle Hope ('Over The Rainbow')

By
Over The Rainbow - Danielle Hope

© BBC Pictures

"The nation hasn't got it wrong yet," concluded Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber after the British public voted Manchester's Danielle Hope to be their Dorothy on Saturday night. After five months of auditions, mash-ups and putting up with John Partridge, Hope was given the winning ruby red slippers on Over The Rainbow. We caught up with the bubbly 18-year-old yesterday to find out whether her feet have touched the ground yet.

It must be a nice feeling to wake up knowing that you are the winning Dorothy?
"I'm still shocked, but I'm loving it. I still don't feel it. I think after a good long sleep and a lie-in, I'll be able to put my feet on the floor and actually acknowledge the amazing achievement. But at the moment, I've just got so much to do. This morning, I was just packing, which was crazy!"

What did you do on Saturday night after the show?
"All my family were there, all the team and all the crew from production. Everybody that has anything to do with the show were at the studios. It was just one massive thank you with flowers and speeches. It was lovely to catch up with my family and say thank you to absolutely everyone. It wouldn't have happened without all these people who have taken amazing care of us on this show."

Have you had much sleep since winning then?
"I think I probably got in bed at about 3am in the morning and then I was up at 7am to pack. So that's about four hours, which is alright. You can sleep when you're dead!"

Has it sunk in yet that you are going to be a leading lady in the West End?
"I think only today. Doing all these interviews with people asking how I feel, it is starting to dawn on me that all these doors are opening to me and that my life has just begun. It is so weird, because this show started for me five months ago, and to think that I got the role... it is just...'WHAT!' I never expected it. I am so young and only entered to get some more experience."

There were not many tears from you on Saturday? Did you get emotional after the show?
"I think I was in total shock. Everyone was crying apart from me, so it probably came across really heartless. I was just stunned. Absolutely stunned. When I was in the balloon, it felt like...'wow!' I think it was only when we went off air that I started screaming. I think it was overwhelmed joy and excitement on my behalf. I'm not a massive crier unless it is totally necessary. I think the adrenaline and excitement of everything took me over."

I didn't think you looked heartless, it seemed more like you didn't believe you had really won...
"I don't think I did either at that point! I think in my head, I was just saying to myself, 'Oh this is just a dress rehearsal'. We'd all been in the balloon once or twice, so it felt totally surreal."

Your version of 'Over The Rainbow' is being released as a single. Is it strange to know that you may have a track in the Top 40?
"How weird is that! As a musical theatre geek, the fact I'm in the charts means only one thing - musical theatre is breaking through! Come on! The fact that it is for charity is brilliant as well. I couldn't think of two better charities than the BBC Performing Arts Fund, which gives girls like me the chance at drama school, and Prostate UK. It is so amazing that money from my single will go towards that. There's also the 'Wizard Of Oz' medley on there with Sophie and Lauren, which is fab and loads of fun. I can't quite believe it."

Are you pleased with the choice of 'Dangerous' Dave as your Toto?
"Isn't he just wonderful?! He's got so much character with those little eyebrows and that little neckerchief - he is well cool! Obviously, I worked with Eddie, so it was between Eddie and Dangerous Dave. Eddie was the first one I met and my heart is with him, but Dave is so well behaved on stage and dependable. He will just sit there until you tell him to move. He is like a stuffed dog! He was great last night as well, he will be fab to work with."

How was it to meet up with the girls again on Saturday night?
"It was lovely. When they all came in for rehearsals we had a huge group hug and fell to the floor. It was great to see Dani, because it broke my heart when she went as we were roommates and best friends. And Jess was there, Stephanie, and even Steph - who had only been gone a couple of days - we really missed her as well. We had a curry night without her, but it doesn't taste the same without Steph. The curry club will be reunited officially soon and we'll all go out for one together this time."

Do you have a message for all your fans on the DS forums?
"Oh, I have so much to say! I have received so many amazing letters and I am about midway through the process of writing back. I do write back to them all personally. I just want to thank everyone, because without my supporters I wouldn't be here today speaking with you. I hope I do everyone who voted proud and I hope you enjoyed 'Mambo Italiano', it was all for you! Going from my little town near Manchester, all the way down to London, to know people have been voting for me each week is incredible.The whole thing has been fab!"

Danielle Hope's charity single 'Over The Rainbow' is available to download now

You May Like