UPDATE: Aylsham girl to sing with Girls Aloud's Nicola - thanks to TV star John Barrowman
A courageous Norfolk youngster will sing on prime-time TV with a girl-group superstar after small screen star John Barrowman made a surprise visit to her school and promised to make her "dream come true".
Leah Colebrooke will take to the stage with Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud on the BBC1 show Tonight’s the Night.
The opportunity came from out of the blue for Leah, who has a special insulin pump fitted to her body to help her cope with diabetes.
The Aylsham 10-year-old was minding her own business during an assembly at Bure Valley School in the town when Barrowman - Captain Jack in Doctor Who and Torchwood - made a surprise visit.
The shock of a star dropping in was enhanced within minutes, when Barrowman asked for Leah by name and called her to the front to break the big news about the TV duet with the redhead from the famous girl-band.
Leah’s mum, Helen Colebrooke, said: “It started in March when I saw an advert to nominate somebody to go on the programme Tonight’s the Night.
“I wrote a letter about Leah because I thought she deserved a special treat. She was diagnosed with diabetes at six. And she was so matter-of-fact about it.
“She has taken the time and the effort to look after herself. Every time she eats she has to do injections and count her carbohydrates. It’s very involved.”
She added: “We got some emails and calls, and finally I was contacted to say they were coming to do the ‘hit’ on June 24.
“She knew nothing about it. John Barrowman came with the BBC to Bure Valley School. He took an assembly for all the year fives and sixes.
“At the end he said ‘who can sing?’ Leah went up and he told her ‘I don’t need you to sing. I’ve come to make your dream come true’. She’s so excited about it.”
Leah said Barrowman had gone on to tell her she was going to sing on his show - and not alone. He then revealed who would accompany her in a duet.
“I couldn’t really believe it. I was totally speechless,” she said. “I felt like I was dreaming and all dizzy - but it was a really good feeling.”
Leah said her friends were all pleased for her and felt she deserved the experience. She and older sister Danielle, 16, enjoy Girls Aloud music.
Leah, who played the star role in Sheringham Little Theatre’s community production of the musical Oliver! last year, hopes to become a performer when she grows up.
She said: “I want to make people smile and be happy - dancing, singing or acting.”
Leah has been seeing a vocal coach in London as part of the build-up to the big night. On Wednesday, she flew to Glasgow for more vocal coaching, rehearsals and to film her section of the show, where she will sing with Nicola.
Leah lives with her mum, her dad Martin and Danielle at Howard Way in Aylsham.
The show will be screened on BBC1 on Saturday, July 16.