The X Factor to feature St Albans singers

St Albans' singing mums Phelia, Laurenne Chapman and Sally Williams, with their babies Amelia and Ph

St Albans' singing mums Phelia, Laurenne Chapman and Sally Williams, with their babies Amelia and Phoebe on the X Factor - Credit: Photo supplied

THEY can busk with ease and recently supported singer Diana Vickers, but do St Albans’ soprano mums have The X Factor?

In a year that has seen talented locals appear in – but not win – Britain’s Got Talent and The Apprentice, could it be third-time lucky for songstresses Sally Williams and Laurenne Chapman?

Just months after launching Phelia – named from combining their daughter’s names, Phoebe and Amelia – the duo are to appear on the hit ITV show which starts on Saturday.

The singers have been regularly highlighted in the Herts Advertiser after they were spotted singing outside Marks and Spencer in St Peter’s Street earlier this year.

They attract large audiences when busking, particularly as they have their babies sleeping peacefully alongside them or smiling at bystanders while they sing.


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Sally, who reports for ITV London, and Laurenne, a Cambridge choral scholar, discovered a shared love of singing when they met by chance at NCT antenatal classes before becoming mums.

Since then the duo have appeared at various events including supporting Diana Vickers, a semi-finalist on the fifth series of The X Factor, at a fundraiser for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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Speaking ahead of the start of the show’s 10th series, Laurenne said she and Sally auditioned because, “we wanted to sing for people who deal with pop music.

“The X Factor is a great platform for us and it is an ideal vehicle to enable us to gauge reaction from the judges.”

Their babies attended the auditions too, and are pictured in the current issue of Heat magazine being held by presenter Dermot O’Leary who was quoted admitting, “at one point I thought I might drop one!”

This year’s judging panel sees the return of Sharon Osbourne, who is joining Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh.

It is the third reality show to feature local residents, with Harpenden’s Alice Fredenham reaching the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent and Luisa Zissman of St Albans finishing as runner-up in The Apprentice.

This weekend has a double serving of The X Factor, with auditions at 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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