Blackburn are supporting their Susan

Gary, Eildih, Morrgan and Kerrie Barkhouse are all behind Susan.
Gary, Eildih, Morrgan and Kerrie Barkhouse are all behind Susan.

By Cara Sulieman

DESPITE rumours that Susan Boyle will be pulling out of Britain’s Got Talent, the residents of Blackburn still think she has what it takes to win.

Across the road from her modest council house, three generations of the same family are rooting her on.

Gary Barkhouse lives with his family and is certain that Susan will fly through the final to collect the winners trophy.

He said: “Some of the talent on the show is not what I would call talent. I suppose there’s a certain number of people they have to put through but you do wonder with some of them.

“Come a long way”

“We are all rooting for Susan and I would like to see her win it – she deserves it.

“She has come a long way – we never actually thought she would get this far when she first told us she had applied for the show. She applied then never gave it a second thought and neither did we.

“I think she will win it, I’d put money on it. She’s a fantastic singer. If she doesn’t win it she’s made it anyway.

“I mean, Elaine Page has said she wants to duet with her and that’s her dream so she’s made it.

“Everyone was laughing at her before but they’re not laughing now.”

Even odds

At Coral, the bookies just round the corner from Susan’s house, they have even odds on her winning.

Ian, who works in the shop, said that they have had quite a few people in to place a bet on her.

He said: “Everybody is rooting for her. I will be watching it on the TV – I’m working but we’ll have it on in here, of course we will.”

And the town is becoming used to being the centre of attention, with the large media presence.

Lots of attention

Kate Duff, 42, and Helen Murray, 62, work in David Stein butchers in the local shopping centre and have noticed that the town has become busier lately.

Kate said: “It’s quite exciting, getting a lot of people coming from all over. It’s made Blackburn a very exciting place to be in lately.

“I’m having friend round to watch the show in the house, but Helen is going up to the community centre.”

The party at the community centre has a special guest this year – a songwriter from America who has composed a song about Susan’s life.

“We’re inspired”

Ralph Bell, 47, manager of the community centre, explains that he will be playing during the voting.

He said: “We have a guy from New York who has written a song for Susan and will be playing it with some local musicians tomorrow night.”

The composer, who is originally from Odessa in the Ukraine, has been staying in Blackburn while he sorts out the musicians for his performance.

The song, which is called ‘We’re Inspired,’ is about Susan’s life and how she makes people feel when she sings.

Politician’s praise

But the exact words are being kept under wraps until the world premiere tomorrow night.

It is obvious that the whole community is behind the singing sensation, with politicians queuing up to praise her.

Peter Johnston, leader of West Lothinan council, said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Susan. Her voice is simply magic.

“I’m sure the whole of West Lothian will be tuned in to watch her in the final, and she should be increidbly proud of what she has achieved, she is already a winner in West Lothian.

“Everyone at West Lothian Council hopes that her special talent shines through on the night and she wins the competition. Good luck Susan.”

“Wowed the judges”

And the Provost Tom Kerr said: “We would like to add our best wishes for the final of the competition. Susan has clearly wowed the audience, the judges and the world with a truly fantastic performance.

“Tributes from across the globe have flooded in and Susan has put Blackburn, West Lothian, firmly on the map.”


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