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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.