The district has a new star after one of the most sensational appearances yet on BBC prime time talent show, The Voice.
One note from Epping’s Barbara Kelly was all it took for pop star Will.i.am to give her his vote, after she took to the stage with her singing partner Carla Maney on Saturday night.
Eventually their performance of Delibe’s Flower Duet had all four judges fighting for the honour of turning them into stars, but it was the Black Eyed Peas singer that the duo plumped for.
Mrs Kelly, 55, said: “We decided that if they all turned around he would be the one to go for because we felt that he was a fantastic producer.”
The former technology teacher at St John’s secondary school only started singing professionally at 38, and met Carla on a three month tour of the United States.
She said: “When I was a kid I was quite shy and I asked for singing lessons and got a bit of a brush off.
“It put me off completely, and I gave up at 12, but I always felt I could.”
It was hearing a burst of Pavarotti on the radio which convinced the mum-of-three from Sunnyside Road to take it up again.
Watching from the wings on the night were her sister, her husband Nigel and mum Eileen, but there was drama of a more serious kind just days later when 80-year-old Eileen took a nasty fall by St John’s Church in High Street.
A doctor, who was visiting from London took charge of the incident and spoke later to Mrs Kelly.
She said: “She was on the pavement for quite some time, but he said he was shocked by the number of people who stopped to help.
“There must have been 15 cars that stopped.
“He said he had never been in a town like that, and where he worked people would have stepped over her.”
Fortunately, Mrs Kelley’s mother is on the road to recovery and looking forward to her daughter’s next appearance on the show.
Mrs Kelly does not know what the will sing next time round, but she played down judge Jessie J’s suggestion that they do an opera version of Psy’s Gangnam Style, adding: “Hmm, maybe.”