Charlie takes the title at Pride’s Got Talent

Charlie Leavy performing at the final. Photo: Mark Storey
Charlie Leavy performing at the final. Photo: Mark Storey

A Hook Norton singer-songwriter stole the hearts of a panel of 12 judges to win the cabaret section of the Pride’s Got Talent competition in London this month.

Charlie Leavy, 18, who has been forging a strong reputation as a live and recording artist, beat six other singers in her category with a song called Science.

Among the judges were singer Sinitta and actor Su Pollard.

The A-level student now goes on to headline at the BST Festival in Hyde Park on Sunday, June 21.

Her win has also given her a spot on the Women’s and Cabaret stages at the London Pride Festival on Saturday, June 27.

“I qualified for Pride’s Got Talent over four rounds and each one was on a school night,” she said.

“Sometimes I travelled to London alone with my guitar and my dad came with me to the Pride’s Got Talent final.

“I sang my own material at every round. One of the judges had heard me and wanted me to compete in the cabaret section, although I don’t consider my music cabaret style.

“At the final, the song I chose to perform, Science, was written only two months before.”

Ms Leavy added: “I’d describe my music as acoustic pop with country and folk influences. The musicians I’ve been most influenced by are Ed Sheeran, Carole King and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.”

The talented musician is entirely self-taught, having started to play when she was given a ‘tiny’ keyboard aged 11.

“I started listening to the demo songs and worked them out, playing them by ear,” she said.

“Since then I’ve taught myself everything and I play guitar, bass, keyboard, ukulele and cajon. I’ve been writing songs all that time, as I was learning.”

Ms Leavy leaves school tomorrow (Friday) in preparation for her A-levels in early June.

She is studying economics, music and history and intends to go to university to read history and Chinese studies.

Although she would like to be a professional musician, she is planning to get a history degree first and to teach English in Korea, Japan and China.

In the meantime Ms Leavy has a list of engagement to perform over the summer holidays.

These include Dukes Bar, Princes Risborough on June 28, a live session for Blackfrog Radio, Thame on July 5, a live session on Radio Horton on July 9 at 8pm, Outside the Box in Oxford on July 26 and the Chacombebury Festival on August 8. Ms Leavy’s father, Mark, said: “She received standing ovations during the rounds and also from Sinitta during the final. The atmosphere during the final was loud and incredible.

“This definitely wasn’t as sedate as Britain’s Got Talent – Charlie performed alongside a few drag queens on the night.

“The aim of PGT is to showcase the best talent that the LGBT+ community has to offer and it did that with comedians, singers and musicians taking part.

“She treated this like every other gig and her performance was simply amazing as always.”