AN ACTRESS nurturing her North-East roots hopes to inspire the next generation of all-singing, all-dancing stage stars through a series of performance workshops.

Zoe Birkett, who recently completed a UK tour sharing the lead role in The Bodyguard musical, took time out of her busy schedule to offer practical lessons to would-be performers.

The two-day Summer Stars workshop, hosted by Consett-born and Darlington-raised Ms Birkett, was open to four to 21-year-olds across the weekend with dancing, drama and singing classes on offer.

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Ms Birkett said: “From about the age of three, I was singing, dancing and being a drama queen and from then on my parents decided to push me in the right direction, which was relating to performing arts.

“What I wanted to do was to come back to the place that gave something to me to give something back.

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   Meet Zoe Birkett

Zoe Birkett (born 16 June 1985, Consett, County Durham, England) is an English singer. She was one of the youngest contestants on the first series of the ITV singing competition Pop Idol in 2001, being only 16 at the time.

Zoe began attending stage school when she was just three years old. She had had hopes of being a performer and had previously auditioned unsuccessfully to be in S Club 7, finishing in the final 12.

In 2002, Zoe finished fourth on the first series of Pop Idol, behind Will Young, Gareth Gates and Darius Danesh, and being the highest placed female on the show. During the programme, she performed such songs as Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time”, “I Will Always Love You” and...

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