No fuss for Susan Boyle as film crew checks in

21
4

By Cara Sulieman

FANS failed to turn out for a Susan Boyle documentary when a Japanese film crew visited the Britain’s Got Talent star’s hometown of Blackburn today.

Two of SuBo’s biggest fans flew over from the States to meet up with a crew from Japan’s state broadcasters NHK to show them around the West Lothian town.

But they couldn’t find any of the singer’s fans so resorted to giving out badges featuring Susan’s smiling face to bemused passers-by.

Leslie McMillan – who had travelled from New York – said: “We just wanted to see where Susan Boyle was from and what her life was like before she became famous.”

“Remarkable”

The Japanese crew are making a two-part documentary charting the rise to fame of the 48 year-old surprise star.

They had hoped to get a few fans to join them in the town, but weren’t too disappointed with what the poor turn out.

Kanako Hiramoto, the team’s production assistant, said: “The two women here have a remarkable level of support for Susan. They are passionate about her and about the community.

“I think Blackburn is quite a simple town but it has been great because a lot of people are so supportive – it is such a warm community here.

“Susan has made it big in Japan and I think her fame will last for ever. We couldn’t broadcast the show in Japan but many people saw it on YouTube and fell in love with her.”

Marie (left) and Leslie in Blackburn
Marie (left) and Leslie in Blackburn

Leslie McMillan and her husband Des had already travelled to Blackburn in June to see the place where their idol grew up.

But Leslie’s twin sister Marie Brown was unable to come that time so the pair planned another trip.

Leslie said: “It was only after mentioning our travel plans on a fan site that I received a message from NHK, asking if they could accompany us to see some of the sights in Blackburn.

“Just to see how God will take a person who isn’t all perfect and lift them up is inspirational – it gives a lot of people hope.

“We came because we wanted to see where she comes from. It is really important because the community is such a tight community and she has been a part of it for such a long time and they have been with Susan through everything.”

“Quiet life”

And although Marie was following her sister’s lead, it was she who first heard of Susan.

She said: “I was sent the YouTube clip on my email and when I saw it I forwarded it on to all my family and friends because it is so inspirational. I was just blown away by Susan’s voice on her performance.

“We decided to come and experience the place where she was born and grew up and where she lived her quiet life before all this happened.

“People of all faiths are captivated by Susan Boyle. There’s something about her voice and her story that just captures people’s imagination.

“She needs her imperfections, if she was perfect she wouldn’t be so captivating.”

Number one

The crew filmed the two women in Blackburn’s Mill Centre, visiting the post office where hundreds of fan letters were sent in the weeks following Boyle’s appearance on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year.

They then moved on to Susan’s local church before finally going to her house and meeting her former neighbours.

But there was no sign of the singing Scot or her beloved pet cat Pebbles yesterday.

She is gearing up to promote her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, which currently tops the US Amazon album pre-release charts, with an official release due in November.

See more of our pictures at our Flickr site and videos at our dedicated channel,  Deadline TV.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Well Susan’s fans certainly aren’t failing her as far as the sale of her CD is concerned.
    Susan has extrememly loyal and devoted fans, there’s no question about it.

  2. Many of Susan’s fans are not wealthy, anymore than Susan was. We can’t afford a trip to Scotland, but we can give her more direct support by buying her CD when it comes out. Tens of thousands of us have pre-ordered in the 3 days since it was possible, and that’s why she’s #1 on Amazon sales.

  3. I never cease to be amazed at how they come up with these ridiculous headlines, “Fans
    Fail Susan Boyle”??!! It is simply to absurd to comment on other than to say, how absurb.

  4. Susan Boyle’s fans will never fail her!

    GO SUSAN! Congratulations on your CD moving up the charts in absolute record time! We can’t wait until it is released! See you soon in the US~~~

    Evie

  5. To Cara Sulieman, who wrote this article. Thanks very much for the nice article and the video clip, but I just wanted to mention that I think the title is unfair and really doesn’t fit, given the casual way the “hope for fans to show up” was mentioned just here and there around the web..

    Your article doesn’t mention, by the way, that Marie and Leslie were followed there in mind and spirit by the members of a huge, world-wide fan base at http://forum.susan-boyle.com, We are enjoying Leslie and Marie’s blog and forum reporting, wishing we could have gone, too!

    Evie

    • Evie, Please speak only for yourself. I belong to several Susan Boyle fan sites and I don’t appreciate you including me in your statements I do not approve of these two Americans looking for self importance when it comes to Susan Boyle.
      Let Miss Boyle’s PR team handle all the press and media coverage.
      PLEASE, everyone do not assume all American fans condone this nonsense.
      Good on Scotland for not attending!

  6. NOBODY IS TO BLAME BUT SIMON COWELL.. THE JAPANESE CREW WAS COMING AND THE PUBLICITY WOULD HAVE BEEN FREE AND HUGE FOR THE NEW RECORD. HOWEVER THE ARRROGANT AND PRESUMPTUOUS SIMON COWELL DID NOTHING TO DRUM UP SUPPORT,
    ITS SIMON TO BLAME.

  7. How does one qualify to be described as “two of SuBo’s biggest fans”? I agree entirely with Evie. Most people do not have the finances or indeed nothing better to do with their time than jaunt around the world feeding their obsession with a quiet and humble singer and feeling the need to now “own” her every move, her every breath. Those committed to buying Susan’s CD are not giving any less support to her than these two. Blackburn and Scotland were doing just fine and certainly not in need of outsiders taking over and upping the profile! As for the comment “Just to see how God will take a person who isn’t all perfect and lift them up is inspirational – it gives a lot of people hope.” – who are they to conclude Susan is not all perfect? She has been perfect from the inside which is the all important factor and being sadly missed. Please give Susan and Scotland a break. Stop trying to “own” her every move and support her by giving her CD a massive sales boost.

      • well, i did not send those two to blackburn, nor did they call and ask me if i wanted them to go. they are just shirt tailing. they in no way speak for America. they are acting on their own. not for anyone else.

        shame on you two. shame.

  8. I am a huge Susan Boyle fan but those 2 Americans are exactly the reason I didn’t turn up. I find them patronising, self-publicising and sanctimonious.

    Not all Susan fans fall into their camp and we believe in giving Susan and Blackburn some peace and privacy.

    • Renegade, I couldn’t agree more! I thought I was the only person in Scotland who finds them patronising and self-publicising. They must think Scotland didn’t exist before they took pity on us. For goodness sake, Blackburn doesn’t need people from elsewhere to take film crews on tours of a small village. There are plenty of lifetime inhabitants who could do that but they don’t! I am not quite sure what these two hope to achieve for themselves, but if I were them I’d go get a life. All that ‘mush’ is quite nauseating. How would they feel to have strangers parked outside their home nosying around? Are they not embarrassed to make themselves look like lovesick teenyboppers? Give Susan a chance to live a normal life and enjoy her dream come true instead of always having to look over her shoulder!

    • Americans like these give the rest of us a bad name. These two apparently believe that Susan and Blackburn simply could not manage without their benevolent gudance. Patronizing, self-publicising and sanctimonius – indeed!

  9. I am a Scot,living in Scotland who has been a silent,yet committed,supporter of Susan Boyle since her January audition aired on 11/4/09.
    I have followed the You tube videos of her audition,primarily on the 74mil.views site but also on the 29mil.view and the now deleted,DriftingBoys 13mil.view site.I have also visited the susan-boyle.com. fan site.
    The twin sisters from America periodically visit and comment on both the You tube 74mil.site and on the fan site.Leslie, who spent a week in Blackburn in late June/early July with her husband Del McMillan,wrote a wonderful Blog of that visit and is currently posting the sequel on the same Blessing Blackburn blog.
    Their comments have always been positive but never sycophantic and if the Scottish Tourist Board are looking for representatives then I would be happy to provide a testimonial.
    I believe that locals are often blind to what is around them and that it takes a visitor to “appreciate” what is on offer.In conclusion,I have seen no better ambassadors for Susans millions of fans than Leslie and Marie..

  10. Gwen I found the Blessing Blackburn blog sickening. The level of patronisation was beyond belief.

    As a Susan Boyle fan I am embarrassed by the words and actions of these two women and the husband of one them.

    Some of us are perfectly happy to follow Susan quietly online by way of her official website and news reports. We don’t feel the need to travel to Blackburn and self publise our visits. Why do they feel the need to shout it all from the rooftops? What are they hoping to achieve? I suspect it’s something to do with peddling their particular brand of religion.

    They have sought publicity for themselves from the very start – they were the ones who went to the press and were more than happy to talk to the Mirror despite the uproar on certain fansites about the treatment of Susan by the tabloid press of which the Mirror is one.

    Why on earth would the Scottish tourist board want these two for represntatives? Surely Scotland should be using it’s own people to represent it!

    I feel sorry for other Americans that these people are around reinforcing the stereotype of the crass American.

    • Renegade
      I was on the fan site when the latest Blackburn visit was being picked over.At that time,an American fan was recounting her trip to Britain in the early 60’s and mentioned sheep on the road and thatched roofs,she thought, between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
      This was refuted by several local fans.
      As the tour stretched from the Isle of Wight to Inverness,her memories from over 40years ago,are obviously muddled.
      I was tempted to say that i knew of only two thatched roofs in Scotland -one on the cottage at Alloway and the other on Old Leanach.Both cottages moment in history ocurred 250years ago yet both attract thousands of visitors each year.
      If every guide at every point of interest in Scotland had to be a Scot and have a Scottish accent then I would not have responded.
      I see nothing patronising in the Blessing Blackburn blog and no hidden agenda-only love for Susan and respect for her birthplace.

      • Then sad to say Gwen you are as deluded as they are.

        I am just really weary of all these religious types coming out of the woodwork to attach themselves to Susan. They are using her to promote their own religious beliefs. They do it on a number of fansites/forums and spoil it for others. All this love and light crap is nauseating. They way they talk about Susan you’d think she could walk on water. Susan by her own admission has only ever been in it to have a chance at her singing, not to have her home town or her privacy invaded. If they truly had respect for Susan and Blackburn they’d stay the hell away. How is she ever to return there, should she wish to, with over zealous fans crowding her and tours turning up.

        And if these two crass Americans wish to get jobs in tourism I suggest that they do it in their own country. I’d prefer they stayed away from mine.

        When ever I go on holiday I far prefer to have local people tell me about the place they live.

  11. Some of the comments here reflect completely the opposite idea of what we have actually found in Blackburn! All of the many people we have met here are friendly, kind, welcoming and helpful — and great representatives not only of Susan Boyle’s home village but also of the wonderful Homecoming Scotland 2009 hospitality we have experienced in Scotland! And even if people have varied opinions about who is or is not welcome to visit, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s very exciting to see that Susan’s CD is already the top-selling album on Amazon.com in the USA!

    Blessings,
    Leslie McMillan

  12. renegade
    Then its you that’s writing the book on how a fan should behave and if they don’t do it your way then everyone else will be out of step in the parade.
    Susan will probably reach global stardom and visits to her home ,by adoring fans of all colours,races,religions,beliefs and manners etc.will continue.-it goes with the territory. This will probably be a low key affair unless some Edinburgh entrepreneur starts running tours to the village.
    Let’s hope that they make a better job of that than they did with the Scottish banks whose reputation for care and prudence,built up over generations,was washed into the Water of Leith overnight.
    I note that West Lothian Council have approved plans for a statue of Susan-obviously for tourist purposes.Will this be situated in Blackburn or are they planning to give it to Glasgow for installation outside the venue where she auditioned?
    Deluded?-no.Disappointed that the Scottish tradition for hospitality has disappeared?-yes!-unless your not Scottish!

  13. DEL LESLIE, THANKS FOR YOUR DECENT, MATURE RESPONSE.. I HAVE NOTICED THAT THEM SCOTS ARE DEFENSIVE, IGNORANT , AND ARE, INDEED, THE ONES CONDESCENDING TO SUSAN BOYLE AND THE REAST OF US.
    SUSAN IS THE ONLY SUNSHINE IN THOSE DARK PARTS OF GREAT BRITAIN IN YEARS.
    WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BLACKBURN
    NEVER HEARD THE NAME BEFORE SUSAN BOYLE.
    GOOD LUCK,mS dEL LESLIE, WHERE IS YOUR BLOG???
    YEAH! SUSAN IS NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!! ON AMAZON AND EVERYWHERE
    I BELIEVE THAT SIMON COWELL SHOULD HAVE ARRANGED FOR SOMEOEN TO MEET JAPANESE IN A A SCHOOL WITH SCREAMING KIDS.. BUT THE IDIOT IS BUSY CHASING PROSITUTES IN ST TROPEZ. I READ

Comments are closed.