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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Garlick's hopes for Eurovision
Jessica Garlick in Swansea record shop
Jessica Garlick was signing records in Swansea
Jessica Garlick is hoping her participation in this year's Eurovision Song Contest final in Estonia will put her firmly on the road to pop stardom.

Garlick, 20, from Kidwelly, south west Wales takes up the mantle for the UK in the finals in Estonia later this month.

Sir Cliff Richard
Eurovision contestant: Sir Cliff Richard

The singer is now joint favourite to win this year's competition which takes place on May 25 in the Estonian capital Talinn.

"Cliff Richard, Lulu - they've done Eurovision and they are still singing, " said Garlick, on a brief visit to Swansea.

"Hopefully, in 50 years time it'll be Jessica Garlick, with everyone saying 'She's done well'."

Garlick was chosen to perform the UK entry Come Back in March via a phone vote, after being ejected from the Pop Idol contest on TV.

Now the singer is hoping to go one better than the other Welsh Eurovision success story - Mary Hopkin.

Jessica Garlick's friend Dee Hamer
Dee Hamer: ' Wonderful voice'

Hopkin from nearby Pontardawe came second behind Irish singer Dana in Eurovision in 1970 with her rendition of Knock Knock Who's There.

Back in south west Wales for a brief visit ahead of flying out to Estonia on Sunday, Garlick had a long round of record signings and radio interviews to get through.

But in between the whirlwind of engagements there was also a chance to catch up with an old family friend she last saw when she was four.

Backing success

"We used to play outside together, and when she had the bedroom window open you could hear her singing," said her former neighbour Dee Hamer.

"She had a wonderful voice."

After the UK's poor showing in Eurovision in recent years, there is a feeling that Garlick may be due for success.

Bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 6/1 on the UK as well as Estonia, last year's winner and this year's hosts.

Third favourite in the competition, at to is Sweden with odds of 7/1.

William Hill is giving odds on Belgium of 8/1, with France Spain and Germany all following at 10/1.

BBC Wales's Hywel Griffith
"A trip home for Jessica - but there was no let off from her busy schedule"

Where I Live, South West Wales
See also:

05 Mar 02 | Media reports
Transvestite Sisters stir Eurovision storm
13 May 01 | Reviews
Another year, another Eurovision
04 May 01 | Music
No Dream Impossible for Lindsay
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