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Byline: Alex Lemon

SOUTH Wales' newest singing star has his parents to thank for much of his success - not least for getting him into Popstars: The Rivals.

Jamie Shaw is down to the final seven on the ITV band-making show but it was his dad, Adrian, who sent in an application form without him even knowing.

Within weeks, Jamie was off to London for a first audition, making it through the week-long second stage and being picked for the last 15.

But for Jamie, who is only 17, the journey to fame has been a long one, with plenty of highs and lows.

His first trip into the limelight was with the Anwen Little Theatre, starring in the Wizard of Oz at just four.

But his first big break came when his aunt spotted an advert for the Michael Barrymore show, My Kind of People. Jamie, then 13, sang Shirley Bassey's This is My Life on an audition tape and, a phone call later, was on his way to a Birmingham shopping centre to perform for the cameras and a live audience.

Barrymore led a standing ovation and asked Jamie to be on another show, My Kind of Music, where he performed Titanic's My Heart Will Go On as the star act. The children of a Decca Records boss who were watching the programme, dragged their father to the TV, and, after a two-week search for Jamie, a deal was signed.

He recorded an album, When You Believe, but circumstances conspired against the young star-in-the-making and his deal dissolved. ``We thought he had his dream at that point but it didn't work out,'' said his mum Cheryl.

``There was so much going to happen but Decca had to let him go and it never did. He went through a bit of a low and was really down in the dumps .''

Losing the Decca deal came at a bad time for Jamie as he was being bullied for being overweight and for appearing on TV.

But music was the way up and out for Jamie. The boy from Wenvoe was at a gig in Swansea with his band - ironically called Popstarz - when his father filled in the application form for Popstars: The Rivals. Months later, he has only managed to get back to Wales for one day.

``I couldn't stop hugging him when I saw him - I didn't want to let him go,'' said Cheryl.

``We're missing him so much but it's his dream - we're just so proud.''

Young talent spotted

JAMIE'S ability was spotted at an early age by his teacher, Miss Brailey, at Dinas Powys Infant School.

Mum Cheryl said: ``Even at that age she told me `I think Jamie's got something special' and said he needed to go to drama school.''

Another infant teacher, Mrs Lee, ran Anwen Little Theatre and helped Jamie make his first steps as a performer. At Murch Junior School, his music teacher Mrs Gully encouraged him.

Jamie went on to St Cyres School in Penarth but kept his voice honed in Ray Dibble's Christmas Carousels and touring in Madame Butterfly with the Welsh National Opera.

At Stagecoach in Cyncoed he gained straight A-pluses and, then moved to the Riverside Warehouse arts group.

Make or break

MILLIONS were glued to their TV screens when Popstars judge Louis Walsh travelled to the Shaws' home to give Jamie the make or break news on the finalists.

``The worst day of our entire lives was when we were waiting to find out if Jamie was in the final 10,'' said Cheryl. ``When Louis came to the house he said `Pete Waterman always sends me to do his dirty work'.''

The news, of course, was good and nobody could forget a delighted Jamie jumping on Louis and hugging him. But his parents had to wait a bit

onge r.

Cheryl added: ``He told Jamie in the lounge and we were in the room next door. When we went in, Jamie was in the middle of the floor with his head down.

``Jamie just looked up and said `I did it'. You can't believe how we fe

t .''


BIG TIME BECKONS Jamie in London after signing to Decca Records when he was just 14.; SCHOOLBOY Jamie, aged four, at Dinas Powys Infants School.; ON HOLIDAY Jamie while on a diving trip in Lanzarote, aged 15.; PROUD PARENTS Adrian and Cheryl Shaw who have encouraged their son's showbiz dreams from the very start. PICTURE: Malcolm Morgan
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 2, 2002
Previous Article:Busy mum Tanni back in training.

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