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Sunday, 22 October, 2000, 08:41 GMT
Celestine's winning TV ways
Celestine Walcott-Gordon directly after her triumph
Celestine Walcott-Gordon celebrates with programme presenter Jane McDonald
A 17-year-old performing arts student has been voted a "star for the night" after winning the BBC's new television talent competition.

Celestine Walcott-Gordon performed her mother's favourite hit song- Nina Simone's classic Feeling Good - in front of eight million viewers on the show's live grand final.

The Bristol teenager won 136,778 votes from more than a million registered shortly after the 11 finalists performed at London's BBC Television Centre on Saturday.


I just hope a good manager will come along

Celestine Walcott-Gordon
Her prize for winning will see her join a host of performers at London's Royal Variety Show in December and sing in front of the Prince of Wales.

The winner said: "I really want to make a go of it now, I know I can do it, I just hope a good manager will come along."

She admitted to feeling nervous in front of the BBC cameras, and said: "If I thought I was nervous tonight, who knows what I'll be like in front of Prince Charles."

Celestine has been singing since she was a child and cites as a major influence her father Lafrance Gordon's record collection.

"Both my parents love music and we listened to all sorts when I was growing up. But Nina Simone is my mum's favourite and I love the song," she said.

Celestine's mother Veresteene Walcott nominated her for the BBC1 Saturday primetime show, which pits wannabe stars against each other in front of a panel of celebrities.

Celestine Walcott-Gordon
Celestine's family were on hand to watch
Celestine performed in front of a studio audience of 500, including her parents and older sister Lucine , 26, and brother Julian, eight.

Resident celebrity panellists Barbara Windsor and pop manager Nigel Martin-Smith announced the singer's triumph.

Celestine was surprised by the show's host, The Cruise star Jane McDonald, at college shortly after her audition for the programme in September 1999. She was voted into the grand final in January.

The teenager has a year to go before finishing her two-year BTEC in performing arts at Bristol's Filton College.

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