A CHESHIRE student has made it through to the final of BBC talent show Over The Rainbow.
Dani Rayner, 16, of Whitegate, was named as one of the final 10 contestants battling to be chosen to play Dorothy in a new theatre production of Wizard of Oz.
Despite being the youngest contestant on the popular Saturday night show, Dani wowed the celebrity panel of judges as Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Charlotte Church, Sheila Hancock and John Partridge selected her for the final 10.
Composer Lloyd-Webber told Dani that she had “something very special” and that he could see her as Dorothy.
Proud mum Jennifer, who is deputy chair of Weaver Vale Housing Trust, told The Chronicle that the family, including sister Jo who is already an actress in London, was delighted for Dani and that she hoped readers would support her every week.
She said: “We are so thrilled for her, it’s amazing.
“She is such a great girl and she didn’t expect to get so far.
“We are just looking for as many people in Cheshire to get behind her and keep her in the competition.”
A Facebook group in support of Dani’s bid to become Dorothy has gained almost 1,500 members.
Mrs Rayner revealed that Dani, who attends The Grange School, in Hartford, did not tell the family about the audition until the week before as she knew that revision for her AS-level exams was a priority.
She said: “We let her sweat on it overnight before telling her she could go for it. We’re now so glad she did and we are 100% behind her.”
Joining Dani in the final are local rivals Danielle Hope (Knutsford), Bronte Barbe (Cheshire), Stephanie Davis (Liverpool) and Page 3 girl Amy Diamond (Widnes).