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Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 12:56 UK

'Isle of Sam' honour for TV star

Sam Barks
Sam has made it to the final seven of the hit BBC programme

The Isle of Man is being renamed in honour of a 17-year-old resident who has shot to fame on a BBC reality television programme.

Sam Barks, from Laxey, is down to the last seven in I'd Do Anything, a show looking for an actor to play Nancy in the West End musical, Oliver!

From Wednesday, visitors arriving on the island will find signs welcoming them to the "Isle of Sam".

Tourism Minister Adrian Earnshaw is to conduct a renaming ceremony later.

He is unveiling signs at Ronaldsway airport and the sea terminal which read: Welcome to the Isle of Sam.

The famous Three Legs signs have also been fitted with dancing shoes in honour of the teenage singer.

New stars

Mr Earnshaw said: "The people of the Isle of Man enjoy celebrating the success of our own, and we will be supporting Sam all the way.

"I hope everyone on the Isle of Man continues to vote for Sam to keep her in the competition as we would love nothing more than for her to win and become our Nancy."

BBC producers are visiting Laxey to interview islanders about their support for the local star.

Sam is down to the final seven of the competition after impressing judges with a series of strong performances.

Previous talent shows have seen Andrew Lloyd Webber find a new Maria - Connie Fisher - for a production of The Sound of Music.

Lord Lloyd Webber also found actor Lee Mead to play the title role in a new production of the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat musical.


SEE ALSO
Niamh's West End dream still alive
28 Apr 08 |  Northern Ireland
BBC names 12 Oliver TV hopefuls
23 Mar 08 |  Entertainment
Finalists unveiled for Nancy role
22 Mar 08 |  Entertainment
No viewer vote for BBC's Oliver
13 Mar 08 |  Entertainment
Doing Anything for West End fame
14 Mar 08 |  Entertainment

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